Yannick Ngakoue was set to become the most-sought-after defensive end on the free agent market on March 18 when the new league year begins, but those plans might have to be put on hold.
Reports surfaced on Monday that the Jacksonville Jaguars plan to use the franchise tag on Ngakoue since they have not been able to agree to a long-term deal. However, the 24-year-old pass rusher took to Twitter to announce he has no desire to stay in Jacksonville, for any mount of time.
Ngakoue already has the second-most sacks in franchise history, and he's been one of the most productive pass-rushers in the NFL since he entered the league. It seems that if Ngakoue can't find his way out of Jacksonville via free agency, then it will have to come through a trade. With that in mind, let's take a look at three teams that would be likely suitors to swing a deal for the Jaguars defensive end.
1. Houston Texans
Prior to last season the Houston Texans traded away Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks after failing to reach a long-term agreement with him. And in what is now his usual fashion, J.J. Watt only played in eight games because of injury in 2019. This all resulted in the Texans averaging only 1.9 sacks per game, which ranked No. 27 in the NFL. Armed with only five picks in the 2020 NFL Draft (none higher than No. 57), Houston might have to offer some productive players or future draft compensation in this one to make a deal work, but regardless, Ngakoue would fill a major hole.
2. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills ranked No. 6 in the NFL in sacks per game last season, but could be losing some key contributors on defense, including Shaq Lawson (6.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 18 QB hits) and Jordan Phillips (team-high 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss). The Bills are projected to have a little over $82 million in cap space, which is the third most in the NFL, so they have plenty of room for a big contract for Ngakoue. Additionally, Buffalo has nine picks in April's draft, so regardless if you look at it from a cap or asset standpoint, the Bills have what it takes to get a deal done. If one of their own free agents leaves town, then Ngakoue would also fill a pressing need.
3. New York Giants
The New York Giants were already considered to be major players to sign Ngakoue as a free agent this offseason, with pass-rusher being one of their biggest needs. The G-Men averaged 2.2 sacks per game last year, which was good for just No. 21 in the NFL in 2019. That number could get even worse in 2019 with the possible departure of linebacker Markus Golden, who recorded 10.0 sacks of his own last season. Once compensatory picks come in, the Giants are expected to have nine or 10 total picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. They are also loaded with cap space, looking at roughly $74 million now with an expectation that number will grow by the time free agency begins. Of all the teams, when combining interest, need, cap space, and assets, it's hard not to see the Giants as a logical fit.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.