The offseason whirlwind continues to swirl for the Jaguars. Yannick Ngakoue has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of suiting up for the teal and black again, and he further cemented that notion by aggressively calling out Jaguars' co-owner Tony Khan on Twitter, Monday. Khan didn't hold back, letting Yannick know that he is not helping his own cause. More than anything, he is making things more complicated than they already are for the front office. After the Coughlin led regime failed to work out an extension with the talented edge rusher, his asking price rose to a reported amount north of $20 million (Phillip Heilman, Florida Times-Union).
Ngakoue has little to no leverage in this situation, with the Jaguars able to keep him on the roster for the next two years. The move does not leave the Jaguars in a desirable cap situation, with the tag carrying an almost $18 million commitment for at least this year. However, considering the Jaguars were able to get out from under the debacle that was the Nick Foles experiment (thank you Chicago), they are in a much better cap situation beginning next year. Perhaps this outburst is a direct reflection of Yan's realization that the Jags have no need to give in to his demands. The other premier edge rusher on the market, Jadeveon Clowney, also lowered his asking price, setting a precedence for other teams to sit and wait on these elite edge options until potentially after the draft.
So what should the front office do? With the draft just two days away, I think the Jaguars need to make a move with Ngakoue, and maybe even running back Leonard Fournette, before Thursday. Waiting until after the draft potentially minimizes the number of teams willing to deal for a high end player looking for big money like Ngakoue. The front office needs to look ahead to the future. With two first-round picks this year, the team's draft situation for this upcoming weekend is a good one.
The Jaguars should not consider themselves legitimate contenders in 2020, so setting themselves up for repeat success in next year's draft could be vital to the team. Should a team come calling, offering a 1st round selection in next year's draft, along with some fluff for this year (a solid 3rd or 4th round pick), the Jags should cut their losses and move on from their star pass-rusher. Three first-round picks next year should put the team in a position to start over on both sides of the ball with good, young talent. And could also put the Jags in prime position to be winners in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, should Minshew fail to show progress in 2020.
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