The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Jacksonville will give Ngakoue a one-year guaranteed contract with the non-exclusive tag, netting him a projected salary of $19.316 million for 2020 (per Over The Cap). The tag makes Ngakoue the third highest-paid defensive end in terms of average annual salary (per Spotrac). Ngakoue has revealed on Twitter he no longer has any interest in signing a long-term deal in Jacksonville, so things could soon get interesting between the two sides.
"The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long-term contract in Jacksonville. Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I'm thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere."
Ngakoue has 37.5 sacks, 85 quarterback hits and 14 forced fumbles in his first four NFL seasons. Since entering the NFL in 2016, Ngakoue has the fourth-most forced fumbles in the league and the eighth-most quarterback hits. He's also just one of seven players that has eight-plus sacks in each of the last four seasons.
If the Jaguars are forced to trade Ngakoue, they can receive quite the trade compensation for him. Based on the market for pass rushers last offseason, the Jaguars could cash in with the right deal. The Kansas City Chiefs traded a 2019 first and third-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark (and a 2019 third-round pick) last offseason, which also included a 2020 second-round pick. The San Francisco 49ers traded a second-round pick for defensive end Dee Ford. Both Ford and Clark signed huge deals with their new teams after their respective trades: Ford five years, $87.5 million and Clark five years, $105.5 million ($63.5 million guaranteed). Ngakoue is expected to rival what Clark received from Kansas City.
Ngakoue is expected to be the top pass rusher available this offseason if Jacksonville gets serious about trading their franchise player.