Ex-Jaguars Star Yannick Ngakoue Puts Vikings First In New Contract Signing

Yannick Ngakoue

Getty Yannick Ngakoue signed a team-friendly deal with the Vikings on Sunday.

The headlines that followed Yannick Ngakoue this offseason were anything but flattering. The former “disgruntled” Jaguars defensive end had held out of training camp and refused to sign the $17.8 million franchise tender he was pegged with this offseason.

Now traded to the Vikings for a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick, Ngakoue, 25, put his new team first after attacks on his character this offseason.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that Ngakoue and the Vikings have agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract as the Pro Bowl edge rusher turned down millions of dollars for brighter horizons this season.

His contract includes a no-tag clause, allowing the Vikings the possibility of franchise-tagging him in 2021, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Ngakoue taking a pay cut is encouraging that the Vikings will sign him to a long-term deal after the 2020 season and was simply putting his earning potential on layaway.

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Past Grievances In Jacksonville

Yannick Ngakoue

GettyYannick Ngakoue had a troubling relationship with his former team.

Ngakoue, a 2016 third-round pick, has had mounting beef with his former team since July 2019. He turned down a $19 million annual salary and played the 2019 season for $2 million, a steal for an edge rusher who has racked up 29.5 sacks in his first three seasons.

He played through a hamstring injury at the beginning of the season which diminished his impact, but still finished with eight sacks in 2019. He ranked second in Jaguars history with 37.5 sacks in his first four seasons and played a hand in five of the Jaguars’ 12 defensive TDs since 2016. His 14 forced fumbles from 2016 to 2019 ranks fourth in the league.

He had been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the Jaguars, especially on social media, and his desire to play elsewhere, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.  He announced in March via Twitter that he told the Jaguars he would not sign a long-term deal and in April went on a Twitter tirade throughout the offseason.

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Ngakoue began campaigning for his trade throughout April after urging the Jaguars to “move on,” and even used the hashtag #FREEYANN.

His status of being the latest player from the Jaguars 2017 team that made a run to the AFC Championship game to leave was short-lived as the Jaguars waived Leonard Fournette on Monday. Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey and others departed from Jacksonville as well.

Ngakoue Excited to ‘Start This New Chapter’

Yannick Ngakoue

GettyYannick Ngakoue is ready for a new chapter.

Now that Ngakoue’s tenure in Jacksonville has ended, the Pro Bowl defensive end made a statement about his excitement in joining the Vikings.

Here’s what he wrote on Twitter following his trade:

It’s evident that my time in Jacksonville is up. But I want to say thank you to the organization for making it a home for myself for 4 years, and that I’ll never forget . That chapter is over with now. Nothing lasts forever. But I’m truly excited to start this new chapter! SKOL!
Ngakoue with Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter makes up one of the NFL’s best pass-rush duos in the NFL as the franchise found their replacement in Everson Griffen.


Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.

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