Well, so much for the Jaguars having defensive and Yannick Ngakoue join them for minicamp this week.
In the latest off-field controversy for Jacksonville and their management to deal with, the star defensive end, who said late last month that he would continue to report to offseason workouts, while his future lucrative contract gets worked out, has now done a complete reversal.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was the first to release comment from Ngakoue that he will not be part of Jaguars three day mandatory minicamp slated to begin Tuesday:
Statement from Jaguars’ DE Yannick Ngakoue: “I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved. I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 10, 2019
As we wrote three weeks ago Ngakoue talked at Jaguars OTAs about his situation, and how he is slated to make $2,000,000 this season. Or, roughly about an eighth of what the top 5 defensive ends in the NFL make on average ($15.5 million).
He was asked then about being that underpaid and, Ngakoue answered,
“That’s not a secret. We all can go on the computer and see what they’re gettin’… At the end of the day it’s a blessing to be in that position and I’m thankful.”
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. But, the Jaguars bigger problem is obviously financial, as Ngakoue made only $735,000 a year ago.
Ngakoue skipping minicamp is the latest in a string of off-field problems that Jacksonville has experienced, including star Pro Bowl linebacker Telvin Smith announcing in May that he will not play football this season. And, Smith has yet to disclose why and if it’s potentially about money for him?
The Jaguars also had star running back Leonard Fournette get arrested in Jacksonville on outstanding traffic violations. He has since plead the case to avoid jail time. The Jags have stocked up on veteran running back depth for this season by adding veterans Thomas Rawls and Alfred Blue and drafting former Temple RB Ryquell Armstead.
As for Ngakoue, he is being heavily counted on for a veteran pass rush presence in 2019. This is with the team having traded former number one pick Dante Fowler to the Rams last October, but drafting former Kentucky star pass rusher Josh Allen at #7 overall in April.
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