Edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue did not attend voluntary workouts for the Indianapolis Colts in May and June. But he made his Colts practice debut on June 7 at minicamps.
If it was up to Ngakoue, that will be his first of many practice in Indianapolis.
Colts beat writer Nate Atkins of The Indianapolis Star reports that 27-year-old defensive end’s ultimate goal is to sign a multi-year contract with the Colts.
“Super, super professional place,” Ngakoue said of Indianapolis during his first media availability at minicamp. “I just love the atmosphere here and the energy is great.”
Atkins also reports Ngakoue is using a rigorous weight training regiment to earn a long-term extension.
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Yannick Ngakoue Seeking Long-Term Contract
In six NFL seasons, Ngakoue has 55.5 sacks and 57 tackles for loss. He also has 119 quarterback hits, 20 forced fumbles and 13 pass defenses. There hasn’t been an NFL season in his career where he didn’t record at least 8.0 sacks.
With that kind of production, one would expect teams to be lining up to sign Ngakoue. But for a variety of reasons, Ngakoue hasn’t signed more than a two-year deal since his rookie contract.
The Colts will be Ngakoue’s fifth team in seven years.
It’s safe to say that lacking a permanent NFL home has motivated Ngakoue this offseason. He told Tyler Dunne of Go Long, “They’ll see why they f***** up” when referring to a matchup against his most recent team — the Las Vegas Raiders — this season.
Atkins reports Ngakoue had an intense workout regimen in Florida this offseason. He joined other NFL players five times per week to run sprints up and down hills, drag sleds and run with resistance bands and chains in order to increase his strength.
“A lot of guys that are real terrors in this league were great lifters: James Harrison, John Randle, Aaron Donald,” Ngakoue said according to Atkins. “Me not being a thicker dude, I have to make sure my strength is up.”
Standing at 6-foot-2 and 246 pounds, Ngakoue is undersized for his position. But his strength gives him a strong chance of being part of Indianapolis’ long-term solution along the edge.
Yannick Ngakoue Familiar with New Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley
The 27-year-old has expressed nothing but admiration for Indianapolis through the early part of his tenure with the team. It helps that Ngakoue is back playing under coach Gus Bradley.
With the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ngakoue broke out as a rookie with 8.0 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and an interception in 2016. That was Bradley’s final year as head coach in Jacksonville.
Ngakoue played in Bradley’s defensive system again last year with the Raiders. In 32 career starts under Bradley, Ngakoue has 18.0 sacks, 51 combined tackles, 37 quarterback hits and 14 tackles for loss.
Now that he’s officially joined the team, Ngakoue can be a sounding board for the Colts young defenders adapting to the new defensive coordinator’s scheme.
“I’ve been in this defense since I was a rookie. It’s self-explanatory. It’s just easy,” Ngakoue said of Bradley’s system. “These guys ask me questions all the time, and I just try to be a library for them.”
Ngakoue would like to be a well-paid library by this time next year. Spotrac reports he will make $13 million in the final season of a two-year contract he signed with the Raiders last offseason.