New Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler has impressed this offseason with many of his moves. Even the recent draft where the team didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds received good reviews. The first big move Ziegler made was signing All-Pro pass rusher Chandler Jones and then trading away defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
Ngakoue was one of the Raiders’ most important players last season. He led the team in sacks, was a team captain and didn’t miss a single game despite having some injuries. Instead of becoming a cornerstone piece on the Raiders’ defense, he was traded away to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Ngakoue is one of the most consistent pass rushers in the NFL but will be on his fifth team in four seasons.
He hasn’t been moved due to character issues or injury concerns. He just hasn’t found the right fit. He thought he found it with the Raiders but that didn’t last long. In a recent interview with Tyler Dunne, Ngakoue finally broke his silence on the trade and was quite blunt regarding his feeling about the Raiders.
“They’ll see how I feel when we play them,” Ngakoue told Dunne. “We go to their house. They’ll see why they f****d up.
“They’re going to have to pay. They’ll pay.”
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Ngakoue Thought the Raiders Were Long-Term Home
The Raiders were the first team he had a chance to choose. He was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, traded to the Minnesota Vikings and then traded again to the Baltimore Ravens. He quickly adopted the Raiders as his team and formed a strong relationship with Maxx Crosby.
He even suggested before he played a game that the Raiders were the last team he wanted to play for.
He ended up not even getting to play out his contract, which is why he’s not happy. Ngakoue thought he was going to have a long career in Las Vegas but only lasted a year. That has to hurt so it’s easy to understand why he’d want some revenge when the Colts come to Allegiant Stadium this season.
Will Raiders Regret Trading Ngakoue?
The Raiders trading Ngakoue is the one questionable move in a really strong offseason. Jones has put together a much better career but he also only had 0.5 sacks more than Ngakoue last season and is five years older. There’s no doubt that Jones is a better fit in Patrick Graham’s defense but is costing a lot more money.
Jones is a great player and a leader for an up-and-coming team. He will be a very important piece going forward. However, Ngakoue was a team captain, didn’t get injured and has never had less than 8.0 sacks in a season. Trading him for a mid-level cornerback like Ya-Sin could end up being a regrettable move. Obviously, if Jones comes in and has 15 sacks next season, then nobody will regret the trade so we’ll just have to wait and see.