The New York Giants have seen their roster take its fair share of blows in recent days. From DeAndre Baker being placed on the NFL’s Commissioner Exempt List, to cutting ex-Pro Bowler Aldrick Rosas, and as recent as yesterday, losing their starting left tackle, Nate Solder, due to an opt-out decision for the 2020 season.
While all three of these losses have caused a negative impact on New York’s roster as a whole, the latter two have added a sudden influx of cash to Big Blue’s finances.
The Giants’ available salary-cap space has now jumped to upwards of $13M in recent days. In return, giving GM Dave Gettleman the flexibility to make one final splash before the season kicks off.
And it just so happens that Jacksonville Jaguars disgruntled star Yannick Ngakoue is there for the taking.
Ngakoue Holds Out; Giants Primed to Make Run at Jags Star?
Ngakoue’s disdain for his current situation in Jacksonville is no secret. The 1x-Pro Bowler has pleaded many times for the Jaguars to move him, even engaging in a Twitter feud with the team’s co-owner Tony Khan earlier this offseason.
That’s why when word broke on Thursday that Jags head coach Doug Marrone informed the media Ngakoue has neither reported for camp, nor reached out to the team, many were left unfazed.
With that said, it’s still extremely noteworthy. Ngakoue, who has yet to sign his $17.8 million franchise tender, is in search of a new home and eventually, a new contract.
Even with the added money, that may still prove to be a difficult task for Big Blue, especially with the salary cap potentially taking a hit next season due to projected lost revenue per the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the team does have the realistic option of moving on from the aforementioned Solder, and veteran receiver Golden Tate following the season. This, along with the fact that Big Blue opted not to dole out a long-term deal for “franchise player” Leonard Williams this offseason, could exponentially increase New York’s available cap space moving forward.
Furthermore, if Williams were to decide on taking his talents elsewhere next season, not only would the Giants free up a massive chunk of salary, they’d also receive a 3rd-round compensatory pick in return. Having this in the back of their mind could allow New York to be more aggressive in dangling their current trade capital in hopes of the Jaguars biting on an Ngakoue deal.
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Ngakoue, Giants Have Shared Mutual Interest
Not only does the addition of Ngakoue, one of the league’s most promising young defenders, sound good on paper to us, it apparently sounded good to the Giants’ front-offices just a few months ago.
Per NJ Advance Media’s Matt Lombardo, there was reported mutual interest between Ngakoue and the G-Men back in March when it was believed Ngakoue could possibly hit the open market as a free agent, a scenario that as we well know, fell through.
Had Ngakoue reached free agency, there would have been mutual interest between the Giants and the team and 24-year-old pass-rusher, according to multiple individuals familiar with the GIants’ plans and Ngakoue’s thinking.
Ngakoue first hinted at his desire to slap a “NY” decal on the side of his helmet back in February when his former University of Maryland teammate, Stefon Diggs, commented “NYG” on one of Yannick’s Instagram posts. Ngakoue caught the eyes of many Big Blue faithful with his response, and it’s easy to see why.