Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has not reported to training camp, and there’s no sign he will be.
In speaking to reporters today for the first time since the end of the virtual offseason, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone indicated that he has not had any contact with the disgruntled defensive end, and the team will be proceeding business-as-usual as far as the defensive game planning and installation.
“He’s one player that I know is always ready,” Marrone said of Ngakoue. “As a coach you’d love for that perfect harmony between management and the player as far as the business end of things. And I think when you look at it, both both sides have rights from a management side to a player side. I think as a coach, you’re always looking for solution, that you can be part of to help bring parties together.”
Earlier in the offseason, the Jaguars and Ngakoue broke off all discussions when the team opted to apply the non-exclusive franchise tag, a one-year deal with $17.8M, however Ngakoue has yet to sign the tag, and doesn’t appear likely to do so anytime soon.
He has repeatedly asked for a trade, and the team has ye to receive an adequate amount of compensation for the 25-year-old pass rusher. As of right now, it does not appear the Jaguars will be backing down from their asking price, reportedly in excess of at least one first round selection.
While the team could very much so use Ngakoue, the Jaguars’ coaches and Marrone will need to proceed business-as-usual without him. The team has already planned ahead, starting with the selection of defensive end/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson with the 20th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. He is expected to in-part fill the void left by Ngakoue.
The team does not want to back themselves into a corner, Marrone says, of assuming a player will or will not show up. As such, the Jaguars have had an ample amount of time to work as of Ngakoue will not be a member of the Jaguars this season, with the adjustments ready to be made if he does show up later down the road.
“It’s not anything where you would want to take that risk of assuming that something’s going to happen and you back yourself into a corner where now you’re always adjusting. It’s much easier with the plans that we have now with whatever happens; it’s built in and there’s really no adjustment if it goes the other way.”
Last season the Jaguars had to make adjustments on the fly due to Ngakoue’s holdout which lasted 11 days. Where the Jaguars could have made some pre-season changes to the overall scheme of the defensive front seven with Josh Allen in tow, the team had to back off of any plans they had going forward.
This time, the Jaguars appear to be ready. If Ngakoue does not show up, he will not be fined as he is technically not on the roster at all. With Chaisson and Allen the Jaguars feel as though they have an adequate group of players along the defensive line to proceed, business-as-usual.