Yannick Ngakoue to Skip Jaguars Minicamp; Teammates Back DE's Push for Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) prepares for drills during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue announced on Monday that he would not be attending the team's mandatory minicamp this week amidst a contract dispute. 

"I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved," he said, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come."

Several of his current and former teammates posted their support of his decision on social media:

Daniel Popper @danielrpopper

Jalen Ramsey backing Yannick Ngakoue on his Instagram story: “Pay him!” https://t.co/OUgwfFiPdM

7⃣ Leonard Fournette @_fournette

Pay @YannickNgakoue ❤️🤝 @Jaguars

Allen Robinson II @AllenRobinson

@YannickNgakoue get what’s yours fam!!! #welldeserved

As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noted, Ngakoue attended the team's voluntary organized team activities but "found little contract movement," contributing to his decision to sit out minicamp. 

Ngakoue, 24, was excellent in 2018, registering 9.5 sacks and 28 tackles. He earned a grade of 73.1 from Pro Football Focus, 30th among edge players, though that grade is impacted by Ngakoue's limited impact in the run game.

There's little doubt, however, that he's emerged as one of the best pass-rushers in football in his three NFL seasons. 

As Austin Gayle of PFF wrote in May, Ngakoue's grades during his career really pop when screen passes and play-action dropbacks are dropped from the equation.

He noted that Ngakoue "ranks eighth in two-year pass-rush grade (90.2) with the two play types out of the picture; the seven men ahead of him are Demarcus Lawrence (91.7), Von Miller (91.6), Joey Bosa (91.3), Dee Ford (91.0), Khalil Mack (90.5), Myles Garrett (90.4) and Cameron Jordan (90.3)—impressive company, for sure."

There's little doubt that Ngakoue is going to get paid at some point. If he hits free agency after the 2019 season, there will be a bidding war for his services given his sack production to this point in his career. It would be surprising if the Jaguars didn't lock him up to a long-term extension before that happens, although the team could also choose to use the franchise tag on him next offseason.

Ngakoue clearly would prefer inking an extension, and it appears he'll be holding out for the time being if he doesn't get one.