The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly in the mix for Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who wants out of his current situation.
We’re potentially on the verge of a blockbuster trade that involves Pro Bowl edge-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, and we can toss the Las Vegas Raiders in the mix as a possible landing spot. After mustering only 13 sacks as a team during the 2018 NFL season, the Raiders have tried to revamp the position group, and struck gold in the fourth round with Maxx Crosby from Eastern Michigan.
This offseason, the team has been rumored to be in the market to continue to upgrade the position, as they have been linked to guys like Jadeveon Clowney and the aforementioned Ngakoue. Ngakoue has been unhappy in Jacksonville, and wants out, and we could be on the brink of seeing him moved.
According to Michael Lombardi of The Athletic, the Jacksonville Jaguars may trade Ngakoue in a deal that involves a second-round pick.
“I think the ship left the dock when the Jaguars wanted a first-round pick back at the draft,” Tafur wrote. “And general manager Mike Mayock likes to tell me the ship was never near the harbor.”
However, Jacksonville’s willingness to come down a bit on a return may have reeled the Raiders back into the discussion. NFL Insider Adam Caplan tweeted that the Silver and Black “reengaged” with the Jaguars about Ngakoue before camp:
While the Raiders expect more from Clelin Ferrell and hope to see Maxx Crosby take another step in the right direction after his 10-sack rookie campaign, Ngakoue would join the defensive line as a proven commodity, logging at least eight sacks in each of his four seasons and 37.5 in total.
Skeptics may ask where would Ngakoue fit on the line, and why would the Raiders limit snaps for Ferrell or Crosby? Keep in mind, head coach Jon Gruden had an interest in Jadeveon Clowney, per 1043 The Fan’s Cecil Lammey:
Clearly, the Raiders don’t mind upgrading on the defensive line with veteran talent. The coaching staff would simply rotate their defensive ends in an attempt to simply improve a pass rush that’s lacked a consistent punch since the team traded Khalil Mack before the 2018 season.
Ngakoue must sign his franchise tender with the Jaguars to facilitate a trade, meaning the Raiders would acquire him on a one-year, $17.8 million contract. He cannot sign a new deal until after the season.
As a prolific pass-rusher, Ngakoue can solve one of the Raiders’ question marks on defense. With him, Crosby, Ferrell, Carl Nassib and Arden Key, the Silver and Black would have a solid group to take some pressure off a secondary with multiple new primary starters.