No matter where you look or who you listen to, it’s become apparent that if the Jaguars want to see defensive end Yannick Ngakoue on the field making an impact as a pass-rusher for their defense this season, they better be ready to open up the checkbook.
Jaguars beat writer Philip Heilman of Jacksonville. Com wrote Thursday about some research he’s done on just how much money it will cost to have the fourth-year defensive in sign on long-term in North Florida?
His take: "For a player like this, you are probably looking at a contract that exceeds that of Clark and Lawrence." https://t.co/TWVQ1u1U6L
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) June 20, 2019
As we have written earlier this month, Ngakoue decided to stay away from Jaguars mandatory minicamp, because he is unhappy with progress towards a new long-term deal. And, it’s obvious that unless the Jaguars come up with an offer somewhere in the neighborhood a $15 million base salary per season, he may be sitting out for awhile this fall.
That’s because, led by the Chargers Melvin Ingram and the Cardinals Chandler Jones (both making over $16.5 million for 2019), no one in the top five makes less than $13.6 million in base salary this year. Ngakoue is slaed to make just over $2 million in the final year of his rookie deal.
As Heilman points out, the Jags have another long term concern coming up, too, as Pro Bowl corner Jalen Ramsey enters the final year of his rookie deal, too. And, Ramsey would command between $16-18 million annually on a new contract, too. This is coupled with Jacksonville having given new QB Nick Foles a four year $88 million contract that has a team record $50.1 million in guarantees.
Finally, the biggest decision for V.P. of Football Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell is: is Ngakoue truly worth that kind of money?
Ngakoue’s “worth” has been as Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher over his three-year career accumulating 29.5 sacks (9.5 in 2018) and 70 quarterback hits. This after being an unheralded 3rd round draft pick out of Maryland in 2016. Yet, a year ago, Ngakoue made only $735,000, however, that’s in line with the salary of a third rounder, too.
So, the argument can me made that the Jags got their best pass rusher at a huge discount in 2018 and now have to “pony up” to keep him.
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