Raiders' Updated Depth Chart, Salary Cap After Reported Yannick Ngakoue ContractMarch 16, 2021
The Las Vegas Raiders have beefed up their defensive line with the addition of Yannick Ngakoue, who joined the team on a two-year, $26 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 25-year-old starred despite a lack of stability in 2020, as he was hit with a franchise tag by the Jacksonville Jaguars and then traded to the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens.
His presence will be a major boost for a Raiders defense that struggled through 2020. Here's a look at what the defensive unit could look like, both physically and financially, with his addition:
Raiders Defensive Depth Chart (via ESPN)
LDE: Clelin Ferrell, Arden Key, Gerri Green, Kendal Vickers
LDT: Maurice Hurst, David Irving
RDT: Johnathan Hankins, Kendal Vickers, Niles Scott
RDE: Yannick Ngakoue, Maxx Crosby, Carl Nassib, Vic Beasley
WLB: Cory Littleton, Nicholas Morrow, Asmar Bilal
MLB: Raekwon McMillan, James Onwualu, Nick Kwiatkoski
SLB: Nicholas Morrow, Jonathan Abram, Kyle Wilber, Tanner Muse
LCB: Nevin Lawson, Damon Arnette, Isaiah Johnson
SS: Johnathan Abram, Daryl Worley, Rashaan Gaulden
FS: Jeff Heath, Erik Harris, Dallin Leavitt
RCB: Trayvon Mullen, Amik Robertson, Keisean Nixon, Kemah Siverand
The Raiders entered free agency with $12.25 million in cap space, according to ESPN'sField Yates. That was before they dealt offensive tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots, clearing his $14 million cap hit off the books for the upcoming season. Then, they restructured a pair of linebacker contracts to clear $7.1 million.
That gave them $38 million to work with under the 2021 salary cap before Ngakoue's deal, according to Spotrac.
Ngakoue never hit his stride with the Ravens, with just 11 tackles and three quarterback hits in nine appearances. But the Maryland product has been a consistent piece in each of his other seasons in the NFL.
He posted at least eight sacks in each of his five seasons in the league, becoming just the fourth player to do so dating back to 1982, when sacks were first recognized as an NFL stat, according to ESPN. He'll factor in as an instant contributor in a defense ranked 29th in the league in sacks while giving quarterbacks the fourth-longest amount of time to hang on to the ball before a pass, per ESPN.
Ngakoue, who will turn 26 on March 31, will provide an immediate boost to Gus Bradley's first go as defensive coordinator in Las Vegas, especially since there's familiarity between the two that dates back to Ngakoue's time in Jacksonville.