After months of silence, the Jacksonville Jaguars have traded franchise defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings essentially for a bag of pretzels.
Ngakoue agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Vikings on Monday, while the Jaguars will receive a 2021 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
Ngakoue expressed his cross-country trade by saying —
“It’s evident that my time in Jacksonville is up, but I want to say thank you to the organization for making it a home for myself for 4 years, and that I’ll never forget. That chapter is over with now. Nothing lasts forever. But I’m truly excited to start this new chapter! SKOL!”
The Vikings gain a dominant pass-rusher opposite Danielle Hunter, which should send a shiver down every NFC North head coach’s spine. Ngakoue will also be relieving the loss of four-time Pro Bowler Everson Griffen, who signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys in early August.
The Ngakoue/Jaguars dispute has been going on for quite some time, as the defensive rising star has been unhappy with contract negotiations for the past year and a half. Money, injuries, and a team that is clearly tanking to attain QB Trevor Lawrence from Clemson are all reasons to justify a Jacksonville rebuild.
Yannick has put up impressive stats despite his unhappiness, ranking fourth in the league in forced fumbles from 2016 to 2019. He has also been responsible for five of the 12 defensive touchdowns the Jaguars have scored since 2016. Ngakoue’s departure will sadly end the reign of the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive run that drove the 2017-18 season. How a team that was so close to the Super Bowl just two years ago has fallen.