Speaking on ESPN's NFL Live on Tuesday, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue made it very clear he wants to move on from Jacksonville, a message he has made loud-and-clear this offseason.
"The organization had the oppurutnity to keep me longterm last offseason, and things kind of broke off," Ngakoue said. "Everything happens for a reason and not everything lasts forever. Things come to an end. It is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my career. I am thankful for what Jacksonville has brought to me and my family, but it is time for me to move on."
The description Ngakoue gave when asked where he wanted to play sure sounded a lot like Philadelphia.
"I'm not really sure what team I will be landing at. But the type of team that I would love to join is a team that has great culture," Ngakoue said. "I really want to be a part of a team that has great culture and winning is a habit. I don't want to be part of a team where losing is a norm or anyting if that nature. I want to be a part of something special."
Ngakoue also mentioned a desire to play for a prime-time team.
"The first thing I would say to the other 31 teams that would like to (trade) for me during the draft is I bring a precense in the locker room, not just on the field. You can reach out to anybody that has ever played with me in Jacksonville. The kind of intensity and aggresiveness I bring is differentt. In my opinon I am a top-five defensive end in this league. Top three. My play hasn't been able to be seen like that, playing in Jacksonville, not having too many prime-time games. So if I do land on a team that is prime time, hopefully I can show the world what I do."
Will he get that chance in Philadelphia?
At just 24-years old Ngakoue has already topped at least eight sacks in all four of his seasons in the NFL, totaling 37.5 sacks in four years. He has 31 quarterback hurries, 29 quarterback knockdowns and 78 total pressures in the last two seasons. That is an extremely impressive level of production for any player, let alone one that isn’t yet 25. There aren’t many players on the defensive side of the ball in the entire league, regardless of position, with a brighter future than Ngakoue.
Add in that he plays the second-most important position in the sport — edge rusher — and players like Ngakoue simply don’t become available very often.
Any deal for Ngakoue would likely start with a first-round pick, although the big contract that Ngakoue will demand from any team could impact what the Jaguars will get back in a trade. Ngakoue could very well command a deal worth over $60 million in guaranteed money, and his deal would likely have an average cap hit of close to $20 million. The Eagles have enough cap space to get the deal done, as they currently have just under $30 million in space remaining after a busy offseason.
Trading a first-round pick and handing Ngakoue a big deal would be a major move by Roseman, and would impact his ability to address the team's need at receiver.
Still, if Ngakoue is moved, expect the Eagles to be very involved considering the value he places in the defensive line and the team's need for a stud pass rusher.