Based on a recent report from Michael Lombardi, it looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars were on the cusp of trading Pro Bowl pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. However, days have passed and no move has happened. While the Jaguars and Ngakoue would probably like to have this whole thing over with, it doesn’t sound like there’s a clear end in sight.
According to Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, Lombardi’s report was not accurate.
“The unsubstantiated report kind of caught me off guard too … but if [Ngakoue’s] being traded, I wish somebody would let me know,” Caldwell said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Obviously we’ve had discussions with teams … but that report was pretty erroneous.
“Obviously we’re working with the player and his agents … and trying to come to a good resolution for everybody. Right now we’re in a holding pattern, he’s in a (holdout) but we’re having contact with him and his agent. We’ve talked to some teams, but there’s nothing immediate that’s going to happen here.”
The relationship between the two sides seems unsalvageable so Ngakoue is going to move on at some point. Jacksonville has proven to be very stubborn in the past and it doesn’t look like they’re going to give up the defensive end for less than they think he’s worth.
Raiders Keeping Open Mind
One team that has been at the center of Ngakoue rumors before was the Las Vegas Raiders. They apparently were looking into a trade for him around the draft and haven’t ruled it out as a possibility, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
From @gmfb: No trade is imminent for the #Jaguars and Yannick Ngakoue, but a few teams (including the #Raiders) have kept an open mind and are monitoring the situation. A deal would be very challenging, but not impossible, to do. pic.twitter.com/YqzKVJNhHl
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2020
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock hasn’t shown that he has an itchy trigger finger so he’ll probably wait until the price goes down if it ever does. The Jaguars have lost a lot of leverage here. Ngakoue has made it clear that he has no intention of playing with them again and the massive contract he’s going to demand is going to scare off some teams.
The Raiders haven’t had the best pass rusher over the last several years but they do have young, exciting talent on the defensive line. There’s no reason for them to give up more than a third-round pick for Ngakoue.
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Jadeveon Clowney & Ngakoue Would Likely Cost the Same
There’s also the Jadeveon Clowney sized elephant in the room. The former number overall pick is still a free agent and it wouldn’t take a trade to acquire him. Apparently he won’t move off his asking price of $17 million a year. That’s about how much Ngakoue would cost if the Raiders traded for him.
If Las Vegas really doesn’t want to make a trade but is willing to spend some money, they could probably have Clowney immediately. However, there’s reason to believe the Raiders like Ngakoue more. He’s a more consistent pass rusher and doesn’t have an injury history. When healthy, it’s hard to find a more talented player in the NFL than Clowney. The problem is that he’s rarely healthy. Ngakoue seems like the safer bet to invest a lot of money into.