Could the Seahawks acquire Ngakoue like they did Clowney last year?
Apr 3, 2020, 12:25 PM
While the Seahawks are waiting to see if they will keep defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in Seattle for at least 2020, an AFC South defensive end is having an experience similar to what Clowney had last offseason.
Clowney was the first overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2014 and after 2018, the team placed the franchise tag on him. Clowney wasn’t going to sign the tender or report to the team until the regular season because he was only under contract for the one season and he didn’t want to sign the tender when the Texans wanted to trade him to the rebuilding Miami Dolphins.
He said he wouldn’t sign the tender unless he was going to a better team, and the Seahawks swooped in, trading a third-round pick, defensive end Jacob Martin and linebacker Barkevious Mingo to Houston for Clowney. Additionally, the Texans paid nearly half of Clowney’s 2019 contract, which made the deal that much sweeter for the Seahawks.
Now, in that same division, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was tagged by the team and has made it very public he does not want to play in Jacksonville and wants traded. He is also reportedly seeking a long-term deal with whatever team trades for him, and the Jaguars are reportedly seeking a first-round pick and more for the 25-year-old pass rusher.
— Yannick Ngakoue (@YannickNgakoue) March 31, 2020
The Seahawks need to improve their pass rush, so is there a chance they pull off another steal of a trade trade for a disgruntled edge rusher like they did with Clowney less than one year ago? Paul Gallant of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant said he could see something similar happening.
“If, say, Jadeveon Clowney leaves the Seattle Seahawks and the Yannick Ngakoue situation drags into August, if you’re the Seahawks, try to do the exact same thing you just did this past offseason,” he said. “Trade a second- or third-round pick for him. No one is going to trade for the right to pay Yannick Ngakoue $20-plus million a year. The Jaguars are insane if they think that’s actually going to happen. Absolutely nuts.”
When Clowney was traded, he and the Seahawks agreed that they could not use another franchise tag on him this offseason so that way he could test the open market. That strategy may have backfired for Clowney as he is still available well after most other top pas rushers have signed. He also has reportedly lowered his asking price to $17 or $18 million per year from $20 or $21 million annually and is considering taking a one-year deal to reset his market value for next offseason.
Gallant thinks if the Seahawks were to get a trade set for Ngakoue, they should offer him the same thing they did to Clowney in terms of the tag.
“Say they do bring him aboard. You promise him no franchise tag during the offseason, you say ‘guess what, you’re going to hit the open market. You’re going to have your choice to go wherever you want.’ Is Ngakoue going to say no to that? I don’t think so,” he said. “He could end up being as unlucky as Clowney has been this offseason, but worst-case scenario if you’re the Seahawks, you bring in somebody who’s somewhat of a replacement for Jadeveon Clowney and after your one-year rental you get another compensatory pick, which you likely will get assuming Jadeveon Clowney does not sign with the Seahawks … that’s your backup plan and I don’t think it’s a bad backup plan.”
Like Gallant, co-host Danny O’Neil sees some similarities between Clowney and Ngakoue in terms of their situation in wanting to leave their original team.
“You know who the Seahawks called about this time last year? Jadeveon Clowney,” O’Neil said. “After the decided they were going to trade Frank Clark, they called the Texans and the price was too high. (Seahawks general manager) John Schneider has said that ‘hey, he wasn’t available at that time, at least not for what we were looking to do.’ So they sat and waited … then it gets to August and at that point, it’s at even more of a crossroads where Clowney wasn’t going to show up for the Texans … He started exercising more control. Wait for it to get to the same point with Ngakoue.”
Gallant, who covered Clowney and the Texans before moving to Seattle, said Ngakoue’s relationship with the Jaguars at this point than it was between Clowney and the Texans.
“With Ngakoue, it’s bad already. They’re saying all the right things publicly … but that’s now, it’s April,” he said. “You add a little coronavirus quarantining into the mix, how is Yannick Ngakoue going to feel about this situation not being resolved next month, three months from now? I doubt he’ll be feeling a whole lot better. I think it’s a backup plan, but it’s not a plan right now because it’s way too expensive to go after someone like Yannick Ngakoue.”
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below at the 23-minute mark.
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• Seahawks 2020 offseason tracker