Yannick Ngakoue is a very good pass rusher. A good pass rusher can be hard to find in the NFL. That is exactly why the Jacksonville Jaguars should reward his exceptional play with a new contract. Ngakoue has potentially signaled to the team that he’s ready to make a deal. He was reportedly present at the first few days of voluntary workouts. But he has been absent since. Whether or not this turns into a hold out past voluntary workouts remains to be seen. But either way, the Jaguars front office needs to make a deal with Ngakoue soon.
Can confirm Yannick Ngakoue has been absent from voluntary workouts after being present for the first few days. If contract related, it’s a bit curious. Ngakoue’s market value has only increased by waiting for other pass rushers (Demarcus Lawrence, Frank Clark) to sign. #Jaguars
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) May 2, 2019
Yannick Ngakoue Ready for New Contract
Will He Hold Out?
As you can see in the above tweet, Daniel Popper of the Athletic reported that Ngakoue was initially present but then stopped coming to recent voluntary workouts. To be clear, this is still the off-season and players are not yet required to attend. But could the talented young defender be sending the Jags front office a message?
Perhaps Ngakoue is signaling to the team that he’s ready to be paid commensurate to his on field production. He has 29.5 sacks, 81 total tackles, 10 forced fumbles, and one defensive touchdown in three seasons. There’s no doubt that Ngakoue is worthy of a new deal. Due to recent signings, he may decide to hold out. And that’s not a bad thing. When’s the last time a you remember a Jaguars player holding out for a big contract? Plus, any Jags fan knows Ngakoue’s character. He’s a very hard worker who plays with a chip on his shoulder. If he does hold out it won’t likely be an ugly affair.
Recent Contracts May Be an Indication for Ngakoue’s Goal
There are some pass rushers that have recently signed big deals. They form a blueprint for the potential Ngakoue negotiations. The two defenders that come to mind are Frank Clark and Demarcus Lawrence. Both players signed new deals this off season and are now own the top salaries for defensive ends in football. Here’s the salary ranking list from over the cap where you can see that both players’ contracts are over $100 million and have over $60 million in guarantees.
It’s possible that Ngakoue will not garner quite as big a contract as the above players. But he should certainly be in that neighborhood. With the new market set by recent signings and the current list, Ngakoue would likely want no less than $85 million total.
There’s No Time Like the Present
Attendance at the Jaguars facility is not yet mandatory. But Ngakoue may be beginning to force the team’s hand with regards to his contract. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract. So was Jalen Ramsey until the Jags decided to exercise the fifth year option on his contract. That move signals that the team could give Ngakoue a new deal before Ramsey.
Additionally, it’s always good for a player to have more security with a new contract before entering their final year. What if Ngakoue suffers an injury or has an underwhelming 2019 season? His negotiating power would be less. That’s why now is the best time for him to get a new deal done.
The Last Word on Yannick Ngakoue
The time is now for the Jaguars to make a move and reward Ngakoue for his performance. He has easily outplayed his third round rookie contract which totals just over $3.4 million. Ngakoue is the kind of player a franchise would be wise to keep for many years. The ball is in Dave Caldwell‘s court now.
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