The Jaguars and Yannick Ngakoue have made contact over the past couple of days, according to Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell who met with the media earlier today.
Recently, Ngakoue and his agent Ari Nissam parted ways and the franchise-tagged player is currently on a five-day grace period before he can secure new representation.
Caldwell is currently deferring all other comments on the situation to Ngakoue. “I’m very cautious of speaking for him,” Caldwell said. “I know he and I have been in contact the last couple days, but I think that is for him to discuss ... he’s played his contract out and he’s earned the right to do what’s best for him and his family.”
Shortly prior to free agency, the Jaguars franchise tagged Ngakoue after he and the team were unable to come to an agreement on a long-term contract. Since then, the fourth-year defensive end had not had known contact with the team, and has expressed the desire to be traded, not willing to sign a long-term deal in Jacksonville any longer.
“The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville,” Ngakoue said on social media in March. “Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere. -91”
The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville. Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere. -91— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) March 2, 2020
Since then, Ngakoue has stayed relatively quiet on social media, except for a bizarre exchange between himself and the team’s co-owner and senior vice president of football administration and technology, Tony Khan. At the end of the exchange, Ngakoue told Khan, “Just trade me . I don’t need the speech.”
Due to not signing a long-term contract prior to the July deadline, Ngakoue is no longer eligible for a long-term contract extension, with the Jaguars or any other of the 31 teams in the NFL if he is to be traded. Thus far, it does not appear the Jaguars have lowered their demands as far as trade compensation, which could be why the defensive end remains on their reserve/franchise list today.
“Obviously he’s a guy that we know what he brings to the table,” Caldwell said when asked again about the status of Ngakoue. “His coaches love him, his teammates love him, we love his energy, the fanbase loves him. Ideally, we would love to have him here, but I’ll let him speak on his behalf of what’s going on and I know he’s making some calculated decisions.”
There have been no signs of Ngakoue reporting to training camp anytime soon, however, having discussions with the team and Caldwell is certainly a step in the right direction.