One of those women questions for the Jaguars in free agency is what to do about star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue who is slated to test the free-agent Market come March.
Well, a report on Wednesday evening says that the team apparently has decided that one way or another that won’t end up happening
Matt Verderame, National Football League reporter for Fansided.com, reports that the Jaguars are prepared to use the franchise tag, if they need to to keep Ngakoue in the fold:
Per multiple league sources, the #Jaguars are unlikely to let Yannick Ngakoue test free agency.
While a long-term agreement would be ideal and remains in play, the franchise tag is a strong option for the 24-year-old star.https://t.co/xfPAlRajfJ
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) February 5, 2020
As we have written previously, Ngakoue has had the best four season run of any Jaguars pass rusher in team history, as his 37.5 career sacks are the most by a Jaguars player after only 63 career games.
Still, it has not translated into the team rewarding him with the new deal as of yet.
Fellow defensive ends Demarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark both signed five-year, over $100 million deals and received guaranteed money that exceeded $62 million. That is massive for Jacksonville.
Obviously, the Jags could opt to “franchise tag” the talented end at around $19 million dollars and that appears what to be what they are prepared to do, if a long term deal cannot be reached.
Ngakoue did hold out at the beginning of training camp last August, but came in without a new contract and then played the entire season registering 8 sacks and 15 tackles for loss, while waiting to be rewarded.
A further complication is owner Shad Khan firing VP of Football Tom Coughlin but still retaining GM Dave Caldwell. It’s tough to know for sure, whether Caldwell was completely on board with not giving Ngakoue a new deal before now and whether Coughlin was standing in the way of that.
Jacksonville must also decide what to do with veteran Calais Campbell, who just played in his third straight Pro Bowl, and was named last weekend as the league’s “Walter Payton Man of the Year” for his work off the field. Campbell, who will be 34 this season, is slated to make $15 million this season, and the team may look to re-work that deal to help that them sign Ngakoue.