The New York Giants pursuit of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue became much more complicated. His current team, the Jacksonville Jaguars placed a franchise tag on their dynamic pass rusher.
Two weeks from now, it was going to make headlines when the New York Giants made their big push for free agent edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Although NFL free agency starts on March 18th, the courting process begins two days earlier when players can talk to would-be employers. It’s easy to imagine Big Blue pulling out all the stops during their courtship.
Everyone knows the drill, Ngakoue’s movements plastered across social media for the world to read. Every stop he made, including meals and restroom breaks, would have come under intense scrutiny by those trying to find meaning to his actions and indications as to where he would sign. That’s all out the window as Ngakoue is now tethered.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jacksonville will put the franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue. That came after the former third-round draft choice posted on twitter that he had no intention of returning to the Jags. Even with his desire to leave, his franchise tag means in addition to opening their money coffers to get the pass rusher, the New York Giants will have to send something (picks, players) to North Florida in trade to get him.
Jacksonville for their part made the right move to prevent the team from losing a top player without any compensation. Ngakoue is rumored to be looking for a multi-year deal worth over $22M per year, which is too much for the Jags to retain him. The franchise tag does guarantee him approximately $19.5M for 2020.
The money is one thing, Big Blue has plenty of room under the cap to sign Ngakoue. Additionally, new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can find plenty of ways to use the DE’s talents.
But parting with a high pick in this year’s draft for only negotiating rights isn’t worth it. First of all, with all due respect, 37.5 sacks in four years don’t scream break the bank dominator. Second, the New York Giants first two picks are going to bring them a pair of good players, especially the one they have at number four.
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Keep in mind the Giants third-round pick went to NYJ for Leonard Williams at last year’s trade deadline, so that isn’t an option. Big Blue GM Dave Gettleman should draft the players and sign someone else. Heck, draft a pass rusher in the second round if someone like Yetur Gross-Matos is available at 36.
This franchise is at the start of a big renaissance. They can’t afford to part with their best asset, top draft picks. Maybe if Big Blue can shore up their secondary, the pass rushers they do have, or sign, or draft, might get an extra half-second to do some damage in the opponent’s backfield.
Do you think the Giants should trade a good pick in addition to the salary they would have to pay for Yannick Ngakoue?