Eagles Should Kick The Tires On Yannick Ngakoue
This past Friday, it was reported that the Jaguars have used their franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
The #Jaguars have officially franchise tagged pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, source said. Expected, but now official.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2020
It’s no secret that Ngakoue is looking for a new deal; he held out for the first two weeks of training camp last season after the team offered him a contract hovering around $19M per year. The stout edge rusher has made his thoughts publicly known, however, bidding his farewell to the fans on Twitter. In this situation, the Jaguars would have to trade him and their asking price could very well be as high as Jalen Ramsey’s last season.
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. -91
— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) March 2, 2020
Does it make sense for the Eagles?
Pursuing Ngakoue makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, maybe even more than Byron Jones. Brandon Graham has been the only reliable defensive end on the roster since the departure of Chris Long (retirement) and Michael Bennett (traded to the Patriots last season). The 24-year-old has had at least 8 sacks in each of his first 4 seasons, 37.5 total sacks in his career and 14 forced fumbles. He’s only missed one game his entire career and is one of the most productive defensive ends in the game.
Getting pressure is the most important factor in Jim Schwartz’s scheme. The goal has always been to disrupt the QB with a minimal amount of blitzes to make it easier for the secondary. The Pro-Bowl sack machine would fit seamlessly in a defense predicated on QB hits. Ngakoue has recorded 85 QB hits since entering the NFL, good for 8th in the league. The Eagles already missed out on Jadeveon Clowney last season after Seattle acquired him for peanuts. Josh Sweat was a pleasant surprise when called upon but the team is still missing that true pass rusher.
Derek Barnett has been more of a headache than a playmaker to this point, but being in a rotation with Ngakoue could prove beneficial to his development as well. If the Eagles do have an interest in him, the question then becomes do they want to invest more money into a defensive line that already has a $100M contract in Fletcher Cox.
3 blocks couldn’t stop Yannick Ngakoue.
He played one of his best games as a Jaguar on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/wxhnVTHJbH
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 21, 2019