One of the league’s best young pass rushers, Yannick Ngakoue, has been traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a second- and fifth-round pick. The Jacksonville Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue earlier this off-season but the pass rusher made it clear he had no plans of playing in Jacksonville for the 2020 season. Ngakoue set the Jaguars rookie record for sacks in a season (8.0) in 2016 and was named to the Pro-Bowl the following year.
Jaguars agreed to trade franchise DE Yannick Ngakoue to Minnesota for a second- and conditional fifth-round pick that could go as high a third-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Ngakoue still has to sign his tender, but trade is in place and Ngakoue is expected to be a Viking.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2020
Yannick Ngakoue Traded to Minnesota Vikings
After another impressive season in 2018 in which the defensive end registered 9.5 sacks and 33 QB hits, Ngakoue was in line for a sizeable pay raise after being drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Instead, he found himself entering the new year without a contract. Many speculated that he would hold out from training camp in an effort to sway the Jaguars to offering him a big-time contract extension but his holdout lasted just 11 days. With Jacksonville flying so high to the cap, Ngakoue would be hard-pressed to the receive the contract he was owed. Ngakoue was then back at practice looking to prove he was worth the big contract with his on-field play. His decision to play out the 2019 season also came in the wake of his teammate Telvin Smith announcing he would sit out the season due to personal reasons.
While Jacksonville’s defense would struggle in 2019, finishing 24th in total defense and 21st in scoring defense, Ngakoue had another solid season. He played the second-highest percentage of snaps (75.1%) amongst Jaguars’ defensive-lineman and would finish the year registering 8.0 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles.
Now going into his fifth year of NFL action, it’s easy to forget that Ngakoue is still just 24 years old. Since entering the league, Ngakoue has been a premier player at his position. He ranks 12th in sacks, eighth in quarterback hits, fourth in forced fumbles and has missed just two starts over that time frame.