The Yannick Ngakoue trade market has been at a standstill for months, with the Jacksonville Jaguars seemingly in no hurry to grant their star pass rusher's wish and ship him elsewhere. On Wednesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the Jaguars have turned down several offers from other teams, with one trade offer including a Pro Bowl player that didn't fit Jacksonville's system. Teams have reputedly been told that Ngakoue would play on his tender that would pay him $17.788 million next season.
While the team has remained "unwilling" to agree to a trade for Ngakoue thus far, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Pro Bowl defensive end has at least begun contract talks with other teams in hopes of facilitating a future deal.
According to Schefter, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which remains a point of contention ahead of the 2020 NFL season, has made "any long-term deal challenging" for Ngakoue, who's long sought a lucrative extension in the range of $20 million per season. But apparently Ngakoue -- and his desire for a big-money deal down the road -- cannot be blamed for the 25-year-old pass rusher remaining on Jacksonville's roster despite repeated proclamations that he won't play for the Jags long term.
"Ngakoue has engaged in contract discussions with multiple teams," Schefter said Wednesday. "Teams have said Ngakoue has been flexible about playing on (the franchise) tag elsewhere or signing a long-term deal, and a new contract for him would not hold up a trade. The holdup so far has been Jacksonville's unwillingness to agree to a trade for a player who has vowed to move on from the Jaguars."
In one sense, this is nothing new. The Jaguars, as Schefter added, want to do what's in their best interest, and agreeing to just any trade for their young, productive pass rusher -- just because Ngakoue wants out -- doesn't benefit them now or later, other than saving themselves another public feud between Ngakoue and management. Not only that, but earlier this offseason, reports indicated there was hardly any outside interest in the defensive end; or at least teams weren't convinced any kind of trade could be made.
The fact Ngakoue has actually negotiated with other organizations, however, suggests a move could still be on the table. Teams could conceivably be more willing to part with premium draft capital if they know they don't have to instantly pay Ngakoue big bucks. On the other hand, if a team is going to trade valuable assets, it probably also wants assurances Ngakoue won't just hit the road in 2021, after his franchise tag expires.