What does Ngakoue’s deal mean for the Seahawks and Clowney?
A popular Seahawks trade target for much of the offseason has finally been moved as defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is going from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for two draft picks.
Ngakoue, 25, was seen as a potential fit for the Seahawks because the pass rush is still considered an area of weakness and Ngakoue is on the last year of his deal, and if he played well he could have been engaged in talks on a long-term extension.
But instead, the Seahawks invested in All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, sending their next two first-round picks and a 2021 third-round pick as well as safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets, seeming to end any thought of Ngakoue coming to Seattle.
The trade of Ngakoue, however, may have an impact on the Seahawks and the potential return of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, as Ngakoue actually took a pay cut from roughly $16 million to $12 million in order to go to the Vikings. Clowney started the offseason seeking a salary of over $20 million but has since lowered his asking price.
Could Ngakoue’s deal help Clowney lower his price even further to the point that the Seahawks, who have just over $5 million in cap space per OverTheCap, are able to bring him back right before the season begins? Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Clayton discussed this with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore on Monday.
“As of today, he’s taking the same position, ‘It’s either $15 million or I’m not playing,'” Clayton said when asked if Clowney could “pull a Le’Veon Bell” and sit out an entire season if his contract demands aren’t met. “And unless he changes that then he’s not playing because no one is going to pay him $15 million, particularly now that you saw (Browns defensive end) Olivier Vernon took a (paycut to $11 million) and you saw that (Ngakoue is making $12 million). I think right now it’s up to him.”
Clayton said he could see a scenario in which Clowney returns to the Seahawks but his asking price needs to go down a decent amount.
“If he goes down to $12 or $11 million, he could be here (in Seattle),” he said. “I could see that happening.”
One team that has been seen as a top contender to land Clowney all offseason is the Tennessee Titans, as their head coach Mike Vrabel coached Clowney when he played for the Houston Texans. Clayton thinks Clowney would need to take even less money to land there.
“At $11 million, he’s not going to go with Tennessee,” Clatyon said. “They’re probably going to have to take him into the $9 million or $10 million range.”
Clayton also pointed out two things about Clowney that are a bit surprising at this point in the offseason.
“Have you noticed no visits to anybody?” Clayton said. “It’s Aug. 31, the anniversary of when he was traded (from Houston to Seattle) last year and he’s done absolutely nothing. So you wonder, is he sticking to the idea that it’s $15 million or bust? And right now it looks like it’s $15 million or bust.”
Listen to Clayton’s full discussion of the news around the NFL with Bob, Dave and Moore at this link or in the player below.