While the Jacksonville Jaguars have remained firm in their messaging regarding defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, the second all-time franchise leader in sacks continues to express his discontent with the entirety of the situation.
Earlier today, Ngakoue sent out a message on social media informing the Jaguars it’s time to both “move on” from each other. The Jaguars and Ngakoue have been in contractual disagreements since the beginning of training camp last year when the pass rusher decided to hold out for 11 days before returning to the club, and eventually playing out the final year of his contract.
Ngakoue also responded to a quote from Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone with a sailboat, possibly indicating the ship has sailed. When asked what he meant by the post, Ngakoue simply responded “Self Explanatory my brother.”
⛵️— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) March 31, 2020
Although the Jaguars have made several attempts to remain in good standing with Ngakoue, eventually the 25-year-old decided enough was enough and he was no longer interested in re-signing with the Jaguars.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed the situation earlier today on video conference with the team’s local media. Marrone expressed — as the team has continually done outwardly — love for Ngakoue and hoped the situation would resolve itself, somehow.
“When you’re a coach, obviously you’re dealing with players the whole time,” Marrone stated. “Yannick [Ngakoue]’s been great. I mean, in everything that he’s done. He’s done everything that I’ve asked him to do as a head coach and everything that Todd Wash has asked him to do as a defensive lineman.”
Marrone and Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash expressed multiple times last season how impressed they were with how the former third-round pick has handled everything as professionally as he did. That remains true today, and from a coaches standpoint, Marrone does not harbor any ill-will towards Ngakoue whatsoever.
The Jaguars’ head coach feels that once the business side of the organization has to get involved, that’s when it gets tougher for a head coach. Having to balance the coach-player relationship, along with an organizational relationship with the player could be exhausting.
“...As a coach you always want your players to be happy, you want the best for your players. So, from that standpoint, I understand the challenges that are going on for Yan.
“And when you look at our organization — how much we appreciate him, and we love him. I think the organization and the rules of the league and the CBA, I think the players have rights and the team has rights. And what you do as a coach is you hope that all this stuff can be resolved in a postive way for everyone.”
Marrone understands both sides of the coin, the team has also had to go through a similar situation with it’s assistant coaches. Due to the rules, assistant coaches can be allowed to seek other jobs, and sometimes they are compensated more than they had been at their previous position with a team.
However, an organization has leverage to force the coach to remain with the club.
A parallel can be made to Ngakoue’s situation with the team. The Jaguars placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the defensive end on March 13th, shortly before the start of the new league year. If signed, the franchise tag will pay Ngakoue $17,788,000 on, what is essentially, a one year deal.
“It’s just tough, it really is,” Marrone concluded. “Especially with a player that’s done everything you asked. I’m hoping that somewhere along the line we can get this situation resolved.”
The Jaguars do not have to move swiftly. Reports have surfaced from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that the club has had multiple team’s interested in their star pass rusher, however the team will not give him away for little return. A similar situation unfolded with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.