Yannick Ngakoue Trade Recap: Winners and Losers

Yannick Ngakoue Trade Recap: Winners and Losers

by August 30, 2020 3 comments

While many were still asleep, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally traded disgruntle defensive end Yannick Ngakoue after months of public criticism. Earlier in the offseason, the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue despite him publicly stating he wanted out of Jacksonville. The team told Ngakoue’s agent they would trade Ngakoue, but only if the deal benefited the Jaguars. After holding out for months, hoping to fetch a first-round pick, the Jaguars finally agreed to trade him to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this morning.

Trade Recap

In exchange for the defensive end, the Vikings will send the Jaguars two draft picks. A 2021 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022.

The 2022 conditional fifth-round pick will turn into a fourth-round pick if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl this season. It will turn into a third-round pick if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl and the Vikings win the Super Bowl. More than likely Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl and the Jaguars get a fourth-round pick in 2022, but even with the addition of Ngakoue, the Vikings aren’t Super Bowl contenders.

When July 15 passed, Ngakoue was forced to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag as per NFL rules, a long term agreement can no longer be negotiated. However, Ngakoue wanted out of Jacksonville so much that he agreed to restructure the one year deal in order to be traded to Minnesota.

The Vikings were already tight against the cap before the trade for Ngakoue and will need to make some moves to open up cap space. One player that could be released is offensive tackle Riley Reiff. However, reports suggest the Vikings want to restructure his deal to open up cap space instead of releasing him.

After losing defensive end Everson Griffen in free agency this past offseason, the Vikings needed to find his replacement. While Ifeadi Odenigbo is coming off a seven sack season in his first year in Minnesota, the Vikings clearly wanted to add a dominant pass rusher opposite of Danielle Hunter. With the addition of Ngakoue, the Vikings now have an elite pairing on all three levels of their defense once again.

Now let’s take a look at who were the winners and the losers of the deal.

Winners

The Minnesota Vikings

Obviously, when you trade for the Pro Bowl player, you win the trade. With Ngakoue added to their defense, the Vikings now have two elite pass rushers. With a young cornerback group, the pass rush will be extra important this season. Instead of teams double-teaming Hunter and taking their chances blocking Odenigbo one on one, they now face the fact that they can’t so easily double team both Hunter and Ngakoue.

Yannick Ngakoue

Given the pay cut he took, it’s clear he wanted out of Jacksonville at all costs. Now he lands with the Vikings, who have a history of working well with their players, and should be in line for a massive extension next offseason. The Vikings didn’t give up two draft picks, including a second-round pick if they didn’t have every intention of re-signing him this offseason.

The Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars knew they were in a losing battle with Ngakoue. For them to get a second-round pick next year and a likely fourth-round pick in 2022 is a good return for a player who didn’t want to be with the team anymore. More importantly, the Jaguars now have four picks in the top two rounds of the 2021 draft. To go along with their own first and second-round picks (which should be high up in the round), they have the Los Angeles Rams’ first-round pick and the Vikings second-round pick.

Losers

Trevor Lawrence

Maybe Lawrence shouldn’t be considered a loser if he’s happy to end up in Jacksonville, but with this trade, the Jaguars are now even more likely to end up with the top selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Even if Gardner Minshew manages to win enough games to keep the Jaguars from picking first overall, they have more than enough draft capital over the next two years to move up.

Quarterbacks in the NFC North

Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and whichever quarterback the Chicago Bears start this season will now have nightmares the week before they play the Vikings. Instead of being able to double team Hunter and feel safe in the pocket, those quarterbacks will now know they need to get the ball out of their hands quickly. Otherwise, they face the fact that Ngakoue could hit them any second.

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