The Las Vegas Raiders have some promising young defensive ends on the roster but it doesn’t sound like they’re content with their current squad. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been dealing with pro bowl pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue demanding a trade for months now and it looks like it might finally be getting done. According to Michael Lombardi, a deal could happen at any moment.
Ngakoue has been causing a major headache for the Jaguars since they hit him with the franchise tag at the beginning of free agency. He’s gotten into a public argument with a team executive and is holding out of training camp. Jacksonville lost a lot of their leverage a while ago so getting a second-round pick would be pretty great compensation, all things considered.
Raiders Reached out to Jaguars Before Training Camp
The Raiders have been interested in Ngakoue for months. They first tried to make a trade for him before the draft but nothing ever materialized. According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, Las Vegas reached back out to the Jaguars before training camp started.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Raiders haven’t added any significant pass rushing talent since the draft. There were also rumors floating around that the Raiders liked Jadeveon Clowney recently so it’s clear they’d like to add a talented defensive end. While Ngakoue is a better pass rusher than Clowney, the Raiders wouldn’t need to trade for the latter. Plus, Ngakoue is going to want to contract that is probably even bigger than what Clowney is asking for.
To make this worth their while, the Raiders shouldn’t give up anything more than a third-round pick for Ngakoue. If he gets dealt elsewhere, the team should shift their focus to Clowney, whose price is likely free falling every day.
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Jets Interested in Ngakoue
A problem facing the Raiders if they really want Ngakoue is the fact that there might be competition on the trade market. Per Lombardi, the New York Jets are a team that’s involved.
Since the trading of Jamal Adams, the Jets have a lot of draft capital and a lot of money to afford Ngakoue. That’s pretty stiff competition for the Raiders who don’t have extra draft picks or cap space. While Ngakoue would be a great pickup this late into the offseason, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders could offer the Jaguars a better package than other teams.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s kind of strange the Raiders have been considering adding a star to the defensive line. Maxx Crosby was a stud in 2019, Clelin Ferrell has been getting rave reviews at training camp and Carl Nassib is a much cheaper pass rushing specialist. That’s not to mention that Arden Key still holds a lot of potential. Going after an expensive star isn’t necessarily a bad idea considering you could never have too much talent, but it seems really unnecessary right now.