STACY ROST

Should Seahawks pursue Yannick Ngakoue if Clowney doesn’t re-sign?

Mar 4, 2020, 1:14 AM

Seahawks free agency, Yannick Ngakoue...

Yannick Ngakoue is set to enter free agency but could be franchise tagged by Jacksonville. (Getty)

(Getty)

There’s a reason the defensive end position carries the second-highest franchise tag number. As quarterbacks and offenses continue to evolve, the ability to stop passers has become paramount, and the league’s premier edge rushers have the rare ability to disrupt even the best offenses.

Huard: Seahawks need to deal with K.J. Wright’s contract

That position remains the greatest area of need for Seattle in 2020. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the player who filled that role for them in 2019 – Jadeveon Clowney – is hitting free agency in two weeks and could very well receive a record-setting deal. Both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have expressed their desire to see Clowney return this season, but will another team outbid them? That’s a question we discussed on Tom, Jake and Stacy during the first phase of our offseason Seahawks series.

In the second phase, we’ll focus on free agents the Seahawks could bring to Seattle – and that starts with edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.

Name: Yannick Ngakoue
Age:
24
Current team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Height/weight: 6-4/246
2019 season: 8 sacks, 41 combined tackles, 1 interception, 1 touchdown
Last contract: 4 years, $3.48 million (rookie contract)
Market value (per Spotrac): 5 years, $85.9 million (details)
Player comp (per Spotrac): Frank Clark, Dee Ford, Trey Flowers

“This guy is a true, play-making edge rusher,” Jake Heaps said of Ngakoue on Tuesday (listen here.) “This is a dynamic player. He’s a guy who, when you talk about the Seahawks and how he could fit into their plans defensively, he’s perfect. He’s a LEO edge rusher, the position Cliff Avril played with Seattle.

“Here’s the situation: The Seahawks want and need to sign back Jadeveon Clowney. If they can’t, the next best available pass rusher would be Yannick Ngakoue.”

Acquiring Ngakoue just became a bit tougher for Seattle, though. On Monday, Ngakoue announced via Twitter that he “no longer has interest” in signing a long-term deal with Jacksonville – and while that would normally be good news for other teams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has since reported that the Jaguars plan to use the franchise tag on the 24-year-old defensive end, meaning acquiring Ngakoue would then require a trade (and, likely, a long-term deal on top of that).

“The 27th pick is the equivalent of $6.1 million in free agent money,” Heaps said, referring to Seattle’s first-round selection in April’s NFL Draft and citing numbers from OverTheCap. “The 103rd pick would be equivalent of $2.7 million. So now you’re adding the contract you’d give plus $9.8 million in draft capital. So to me, the clear answer is that they need to sign Clowney. But if you can’t, there are sometimes players that are worth that. My concern is that while (Ngakoue) is a proven player, if you trade and sign him are you then able to fill all of your other needs? He’s so unique and special, he’s a young player and a very, very productive player. So it’s an interesting conversation for sure.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

Stacy’s Seahawks free-agent profiles: DL | OLWR, OT | TE, LB | RB

Stacy Rost

Seattle Seahawks Riq Woolen OTAs 2024...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Ranking Seahawks players who are under the most pressure

Even though expectations may be lower for the Seattle Seahawks under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald, some players have a lot of pressure on them for 2024.

5 days ago

Chicago White Sox Luis Robert Seattle Mariners 2024...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Six bats that are potential trade fits for Mariners’ lineup

Stacy Rost takes a look at six potential hitters who would be ideal fits for the Seattle Mariners to target at the trade deadline.

14 days ago

Seattle Mariners Scott Servais Julio Rodríguez...

Stacy Rost

Rost: The two things about first-place Mariners’ season that are baffling

Seattle Sports' Stacy Rost digs into the two most prevalent answers Seattle Mariners fans had to a question about what's most confusing about this season.

26 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Leonard Williams...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Seahawks’ change to defensive spending reflects new philosophy

Why insight from a Seattle Seahawks assistant highlights how a change in investment on the defensive side of the ball could pay off.

28 days ago

Seattle Mariners trade target Vladimir Guerrero Jr....

Stacy Rost

What will make an uncomfortable Seattle Mariners trade worth it?

The Seattle Mariners are expected to be a major player at the MLB trade deadline. Stacy Rost dives into the possibilities and two trade truths.

2 months ago

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford...

Stacy Rost

How could first-place Mariners address their need for offense?

Stacy Rost of Seattle Sports' Bump and Stacy details the silver linings for the first-place Mariners, but also their need to get more offense.

2 months ago

Should Seahawks pursue Yannick Ngakoue if Clowney doesn’t re-sign?