Edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue has spent the last several months very publicly hating on his team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and begging them to trade him. They haven’t obliged. With training camp starting, he now has an official way to register his extreme discontent: by not showing up.
Head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Thursday he hasn’t heard from Ngakoue, who is the last player missing from camp.
The Jags hit Ngakoue with the franchise tag back in March, which Ngakoue has said he won’t sign. Now he’s absent from camp and hasn’t told a soul on the Jaguars about it. This is not a good sign, but trouble has been brewing between Ngakoue and the Jags for quite some time.
How Ngakoue and the Jags got here
Ngakoue has been desperate to get off of the Jaguars for months. He was looking for a big payday after his 2019 season, and was certainly worth one, but he absolutely did not want to stay on the Jags or sign a long term deal with them. He made that abundantly clear on Twitter in early March.
Literally three minutes after he tweeted that, it was reported that the Jags had hit Ngakoue with the franchise tag. He’ll make $19.3 million in 2020, which is a lot of money, but it wasn’t as much as he wanted (and not as much as he deserved).
Not surprisingly, Ngakoue was pretty irked at this. On his 25th birthday, he again asked the Jags to trade him on Twitter.
We don’t know what the Jaguars got Ngakoue for his birthday, but certainly it wasn’t a trade to another team. Then in an interview less than a month later, Ngakoue said he wanted his next team to have a “winning culture.” Ouch. But he continued to remain on the Jags.
A few weeks later, Ngakoue got into a public Twitter spat with Jaguars co-owner and executive vice president Tony Khan.
You guessed it: still no trade. Not even when he went after the team’s co-owner on social media.
Now we’re at the start of training camp. Ngakoue hasn’t signed his franchise tag. He still despises the Jaguars. The Jaguars have still not traded him, despite reportedly turning down an offer that included a Pro Bowler. And Ngakoue has failed to show up to training camp or communicate with his head coach. Despite everything that’s happened already, it seems like this drama is just getting started.
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