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.
Week two fantasy football tips for Dolphins and Jaguars
With week two of the NFL season starting tonight many are starting to lock-in on match-up’s for Fantasy Football this weekend. Last week the Bucs and Niners game didn’t live up to the over. The Jags lost Nick Foles, but still managed to put up points. As for the Dolphins, well, not much went well for them last week. Moving on:
This week the Bucs did some damage fantasy-wise Thursday night battle at Carolina. WR Chris Godwin continues to make those who spent an early round pick on him look smarter and smarter with an 8 catch, 121 yard, 1 TD reception day. He’s been Jameis Winston’s favorite/best target, so far, in 2018.
Tampa Bay also pounded the run with Peyton Barber with 23 tough carries for 82 yards and the other Buccaneers TD. There will be plenty of owners smiling who took Barber and in a lot of leagues, he may still be available.
Onto help for Sunday,
The Jaguars got some bad luck last week when Nick Floes threw his first touchdown as a member of the team and at the same time injured his shoulder for the next several weeks. When Gardner Minshew (above) came into the game though the Jags were still able to throw, he hit both Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
With a rookie under center look for the Jags to really get Lenard Fournette involved early. On Monday the Texans allowed 140 yards rushing to the Saints running backs. Conley also had the most targets on the team with 7. D.J. Chark lead the team in yards with 146 yards.
As for the Dolphins, they struggled last week. They now face the Patriots and again will face an uphill battle. In a game, they are expected to be trailing a lot that means a lot of passing. Preston Williams found the end zone. Davante Parker led the team in targets with seven but only came down with 3 for 75 yards.
With a lot of potential garbage time, one of the Fins receivers could put up some good numbers late in the game helping out your team.
Jags rookie QB Gardner Minshew embracing start against Texans
The preseason hype surrounding Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles ended quickly, when he broke his left clavicle in the first quarter of the opener Sunday with K.C., keeping him out indefinitely. Duval is wasting no time though…rallying behind rookie QB Gardner Minshew II. Partly because of his game, and partly because of his mustache.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 9, 2019
Minshew is expected to start at quarterback this Sunday against the Houston Texans. He played the final three quarters of a season-opening loss and had a solid, and at times outstanding, day, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Minshew also played extensively in the preseason to get live reps.
The a sixth-round selection from Washington State spoke to the media on Wednesday about how he plans to enter into his new leadership role.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 11, 2019
“I learned a lot of things going to different schools and learned the right way to step in a try to lead and that’s going in and earning respect and not demanding respect.”
Similarly to how he stepped into his QB1 role, Minshew’s path into the NFL has been anything but traditional. He began his college football career in 2015 at Northwest Mississippi Community College and led his team to a NJCAA National Football Championship, passing for 3,228 yards with a 60.8% completion percentage.
Minshew then transferred to East Carolina University in 2016 where he played in seven games while starting two at QB for the Pirates. With one remaining year of eligibility he seriously considered becoming a third string QB at Alabama behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, primarily to begin a foundation for an eventual coaching career.
However, Minshew decided to enroll as a graduate student at Washington State after receiving a phone call from Washington State head coach Mike Leach who asked him, “Do you want to be a backup at Alabama, or lead the nation in passing?” Last season he did in fact lead the nation in passing averaging 367.6 yards per game. Minshew was then selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round, 178th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While his impressive performance last Sunday landed him the starting spot for this weekend in Houston, he won’t be without any competition until Foles’ return. On Monday the team did a deal with the Steelers for backup QB, Joshua Dobbs.
Dobbs is a former 4th round pick in the 2017 draft by the Steelers out of the University of Tennessee. He did not play in a game in his rookie season and in 2018 saw limited action primarily in mop-up duty of five games throwing only 12 total passes for 43 yards and an interception.
While the Jags won’t be without any hope on offense, it’s clear they’ll be trying to piece together the next few weeks until Foles is back. It’s going to take others, like RB Leonard Fournette, to step up and carry more of the load in the short term, if the Jags are going to have any playoff chance at the end of the season.
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