Thursday February 27, is the first day the Jaguars can place the franchise tag or transition tag on a player. The only player that would logically make sense for the Jaguars to consider placing the franchise tag on would be Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue is set to become a free agent and is a player the Jaguars can ill afford to lose.
The star pass rusher has racked up 37.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles during his four-year career. The former third-round pick has made just over $4.6 million during his professional career. Needless to say, he's looking to cash in this offseason.
The Jaguars, under the direction of the now-fired Tom Coughlin, negotiated with Ngakoue last season, but talks were cut short when the two sides realized how far apart they were.
There are a number of different tags the Jaguars could place on Ngakoue. The exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag, and the transition tag are the tools the Jaguars have at their disposal, should they not come to an agreement with Ngakoue and his representation.
The most common tag used by teams in a similar situation is the non-exclusive franchise tag. If the Jaguars were to place the non-exclusive franchise tag on Ngakoue, he would be allowed to negotiate with other teams. But the Jaguars would have the right to match any offer or receive two first-round picks as compensation. If Ngakoue were to play on the non-exclusive franchise tag in 2020, he'd make the average of the top five paid players at his position.
If the Jaguars are unable to sign Ngakoue to a long-term deal, which is by far their best option, the non-exclusive franchise tag would likely be their next move. Starting Thursday, the Jaguars can place the tag on their young pass rusher and have until March 12th at 4 pm to extend the franchise tag on Ngakoue.
If Ngakoue makes it clear that he doesn't want to play in Jacksonville, the Jaguars could agree to a sign and trade type of deal with another club. Last offseason, the Seahawks traded defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs for a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and a swap of third-round picks. Clark then immediately agreed to a long term deal with the Chiefs. The Jaguars could look to work out a similar trade.
Should the Jaguars and Ngakoue come to terms on a long-term contract, it would likely be in the ball park of $20-22M per year, with upwards of $65M in total guarantees.
Stay tuned for more.
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