Jaguars Rumors

Yannick Ngakoue Prepared To Sit Out 2020 Season?

As you probably know by now, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville. He is not inclined to sign his $17.788MM franchise tender, and while he wants a new contract with an average annual value in excess of $20MM, he does not want to sign such a contract with the Jags.

We heard yesterday that the 25-year-old is still pushing for a trade, but given the amount of draft capital Jacksonville has asked for in the past — in addition to the fact that an acquiring team would have to pony up a $100MM+ payday, a tough sell in this COVID-19 climate — a trade does not seem especially likely at this point. However, a burying of the hatchet between player and team seems equally unlikely, and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network is hearing that Ngakoue could sit out the entire 2020 season (video link).

A key point here is that Ngakoue just finished his rookie contract and has yet to sign a second professional deal. Although the new CBA is harsher than its predecessor with respect to holdouts, those stricter provisions only apply to players who hold out after having signed a contract as a veteran. So while a full-year absence would toll Ngakoue’s service time, it seems he can hold out through training camp and a chunk of the regular season without worrying about mandatory fines and losing an accrued season.

A young pass rusher like Ngakoue is a hot commodity in today’s NFL, but as it stands right now, if he wants to play this season and earn a paycheck, he will have to do so with the Jags. Of course, an injury and/or more clarity with respect to the 2021 salary cap could make a rival club more inclined to discuss a trade, and it sounds like Ngakoue is willing to wait.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue Still Wants Trade

They say that time heals all wounds. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that doesn’t apply to their ongoing saga with Yannick Ngakoue. With two weeks to go before the franchise tag extension deadline, Ngakoue’s stance remains unchanged (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). The defensive end still wants a trade and still doesn’t want to sign the one-year tag.

[RELATED: Five Franchise Tagged Players Have Yet To Sign Tenders]

The Jaguars claim that they’ve tried to mend fences with the 25-year-old. GM Dave Caldwell has also claimed that they haven’t received any offers for Ngakoue. Translated, that probably means that they haven’t been offered enough to part with the young edge rusher.

Ngakoue has registered at least eight sacks in each of his four pro seasons, including a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2017. Plenty of teams would surely like to add Ngakoue, but they’ll only part with so much in the way of draft capital, because acquiring Ngakoue also means giving him a lucrative long-term deal in line with the market.

Ngakoue wants to join the $20MM+ defensive lineman club, but he doesn’t want his induction to come in Jacksonville. For now, he’s facing a one-year, $17.788MM tender that he also says he doesn’t want. If they can’t work things out by the deadline, Ngakoue figures to hold out through training camp at the very least. The threat of a holdout could extend into September as well, but that would be costly in the short-term and the long-term. A full-season holdout would delay Ngakoue’s potential free agency by another year and recreate the same problem in 2021.

The Eagles, Seahawks, and Browns have been keeping their eyes peeled for DEs, but no team wants to commit mega dollars to players with the possibility of major cap restrictions after this year. Besides, the Eagles’ 2021 cap situation is cramped as is, and the Seahawks are running low on available funds for the current year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Sign DaVon Hamilton

The Jaguars have signed rookie DaVon Hamilton, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The third-round defensive tackle is the fourth Jags draft pick to put pen to paper, leaving them with eight deals to go. Per the terms of his slot at No. 73 overall, Hamilton is set to earn $4.82MM across four years.

Hamilton put himself on the NFL map with a strong finish at Ohio State. In 2019, he went from part-timer to first-stringer and registered 28 stops, including six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. At 320 pounds, he’s already got the pro build and he possesses uncommon speed for a player at his size. The Jaguars are excited to see what he can do in the long run but, for now, he projects to play behind Abry Jones and Taven Bryan.

Here’s the full rundown of the Jags’ class, via PFR’s 2020 NFL Draft tracker:

1-9: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida)
1-20: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (LSU)
2-42: Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado)
3-73: Davon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State): Signed
4-116: Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s (MN))
4-137: Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State)
4-140: Shaquille Quarterman, ILB (Miami): Signed
5-157: Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn)
5-165: Collin Johnson, WR (Texas): Signed
6-189: Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State)
6-206: Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech): Signed
7-223: Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis)

Five Franchise Tagged Players Have Yet To Sign Tenders

Teams have until July 15th to hammer out long-term deals with franchise tagged players. As of this writing, there are five players who have not signed their one-year tenders: Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue

[RELATED: Dak Prescott Still Wants Four-Year Deal; Cowboys Want Five-Year Deal]

The franchise tag is a sore spot for players, because it prohibits them from realizing their true value on the open market. Sometimes, players begrudgingly sign on the dotted line after skipping out on a portion of offseason activities. There have also been some notable holdouts to extend into the regular season – Le’Veon Bell, for example.

You can put Green in the former camp. The Bengals superstar wants long-term security from the only team he’s ever known, but he says he’ll sign the one-year tender if they can’t come to terms.

In the past, Simmons has indicated that he won’t skip Broncos activities, but Mike Klis of 9News speculates that agent Todd France could talk him into playing some hardball. Offers have been exchanged between the two sides, but, for now, the safety is looking at a one-year, $12.7MM proposition.

Jones – currently in line for a $16.1MM deal – has expressed frustration with the slow pace of negotiations with the Chiefs. The Chiefs, meanwhile, already have a $20MM defensive lineman in Frank Clark. Barrett, who said he’d be a good sport about signing the tender, says he’s expecting to have some movement by tomorrow, though it’s not clear if that means receiving an extension offer or putting pen to paper.

Ngakoue, of course, is prepared to go to war with the Jaguars. The two sides have been locked in a heated stalemate for a long time and the Jags say they won’t cave to the defensive end’s trade demand.

Extra Points: Patriots, Jets, Carson

Denard Robinson is back in the NFL, this time as a coach. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Jaguars have hired Robinson as an offensive quality control coach.

Following a standout career as Michigan’s quarterback, Robinson was selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. The organization ended up transitioning him into a running back, and he ultimately spent four seasons with Jacksonville. His best season came in 2014, when he had 706 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.

The 29-year-old spent the 2019 season as an offensive analyst for the Jacksonville University football team.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • While the Patriots would presumably like to sign Joe Thuney to an extension, ESPN’s Mike Reiss opines that the offensive lineman will end up playing next season on the franchise tag. As Reiss explains, Thuney has the leverage in negotiations, as he should be more-than-satisfied with his current one-year, $14.78MM deal. The reporter could see a scenario where the lineman signs a two-year deal that would buy the Patriots a bit of cap space for 2020, and Reiss believes that’s more realistic than Thuney getting traded or signing a long-term pact.
  • While Jamal Adams may already be saying farewell to some of his teammates, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport believes the Jets will “stand pat” and let the situation play out (Twitter link). The safety has two years remaining on his contract, and that’s part of the reason why New York hadn’t felt any urgency in signing the former first-rounder to an extension.
  • Seahawks running back Chris Carson has signed with Octagon Football for representation, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily. “From our perspective, he’s an elite running back in this league,” said agent Casey Muir. After averaging 1,190 rushing yards and eight touchdowns between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Carson is set to hit free agency following the 2020 campaign.

Jaguars Sign Collin Johnson

The Jaguars have officially signed fifth-round wide receiver Collin Johnson, per a club announcement. With Johnson under contract, they now have three of their 2020 draft picks in the fold. 

[RELATED: Assessing Yannick Ngakoue’s Trade Value]

Football is in Johnson’s blood – the University of Texas product is the son of former NFL defensive back Johnnie Johnson, who was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame for own stellar career at UT.

Johnson (the younger Johnson) amassed 2,624 receiving yards across four years with the Longhorns, good for the fifth-highest total in program history. If not for a hamstring injury that cost him time last year, he might have been in consideration for teams a couple rounds earlier. Instead, the Jaguars snagged him at No. 206 overall. Per the terms of his slot, Johnson will earn $3.45MM over the course of his four-year deal.

The Jaguars have one of the largest incoming classes in the league, so they still have lots to go. Here’s the full rundown of the Jaguars’ drafted frosh, via PFR’s 2020 NFL Draft Tracker:

1-9: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida)
1-20: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (LSU)
2-42: Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado)
3-73: Davon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State)
4-116: Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s (MN))
4-137: Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State)
4-140: Shaquille Quarterman, ILB (Miami): Signed
5-157: Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn)
5-165: Collin Johnson, WR (Texas): Signed
6-189: Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State)
6-206: Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech): Signed
7-223: Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Sign Tyler Davis

The Jaguars officially signed sixth-round tight end Tyler Davis on Friday night, per the league’s official transactions wire. Even with Davis in the fold, the Jaguars still have lots of paperwork ahead of them. The Jaguars have signed only two players in their 12-man draft class, as shown in PFR’s 2020 NFL Draft tracker.

Davis began his collegiate career as a quarterback at Connecticut. He finished his college days as a tight end at Georgia Tech, where he tallied 17 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown last year. Across all four seasons, Davis recorded 64 receptions for 648 yards and eight TDs.

Davis impressed at the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at his pro day. At the combine, only Albert Okwuegbunam posted a faster time (4.49 seconds) and he went much earlier on Day 3 (Broncos; fourth round, No. 118 overall). Well-regarded by coaches as a natural leader, Davis will push to make the Jags’ roster as a supporting cast member behind Tyler Eifert.

Here’s a rundown of the Jaguars’ full class, via PFR’s tracker:

1-9: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida)
1-20: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (LSU)
2-42: Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado)
3-73: Davon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State)
4-116: Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s (MN))
4-137: Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State)
4-140: Shaquille Quarterman, ILB (Miami): Signed
5-157: Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn)
5-165: Collin Thomas, WR (Texas)
6-189: Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State)
6-206: Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech): Signed
7-223: Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis)

Trade Candidate: Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville. He’s made that crystal clear at this point, even taking his gripes to social media in a back-and-forth with co-owner Tony Khan. The Jaguars say they’re keeping him – per the terms of his franchise tag – but they did entertain the idea of trading him prior to the draft. Today, the two sides are still locked in the same stalemate. Ngakoue wants out and management says he isn’t going anywhere.

I think his options are very limited at this point in time,” GM Dave Caldwell said recently. “We’ll welcome him back with open arms when he’s ready to come back, and we look forward to it.”

Caldwell also claimed that he did not receive any offers for the 25-year-old edge rusher, but we’re guessing that it’d be more accurate to say that the Jaguars did not receive any offers to their liking. Ngakoue is a young talent at a premium position with a solid track record of production. He’s posted at least eight sacks in each of his four pro seasons, including a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2017. There’s no team that would say no to having Ngakoue on their roster, but every team is skittish about coughing up lots of draft capital and a top-of-the-market deal for him.

So, what’s next? Ngakoue has no interest in signing a long-term deal with the Jaguars and he wants to get his ~$20MM-per-year payday somewhere else. He hasn’t signed his $17.788MM tender and the Jaguars now find themselves in a tricky situation. Will they blink? If the right offer comes along, they probably will.

The Eagles were eyeing Ngakoue earlier this year and it stands to reason that they’d still like to have him. They’ve got the space to take on his tender amount, too, with ~$24MM free in 2020. Just one problem – the Eagles’ books are a bit of a mess in 2021 and they’ll need to roll over a good chunk of today’s space to make the numbers crunch work. With that in mind, the Eagles are much more likely to sign Jadeveon Clowney on a one-year deal instead, though the veteran’s current asking price is too rich for their blood. You can’t rule out an aggressive win-now trade from Howie Roseman, but he’d have to convince Ngakoue to play out his tender in Philly.

The Browns, another reported Clowney suitor, could be better equipped to take on Ngakoue – they’ve got more cap room than anyone else in the league, plus flexibility in 2021. They have players of their own to take care of, too, but it’s at least feasible. What doesn’t seem feasible is a resolution between Ngakoue and the Jaguars. Despite everything Caldwell & Co. have been saying, we’d be surprised if Ngakoue played out the year in Jacksonville.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/21/20

Today’s 2020 NFL draft pick signings:

  • The Jaguars have signed fourth-round linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Quarterman, whom Jacksonville selected with the draft choice it acquired from the Bears in exchange for quarterback Nick Foles, was a four-year starter at the University of Miami, and posted at least 80 tackles in all four of his seasons with the Hurricanes. In a pre-draft profile, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com praised Quarterman’s hustle and mentality, but indicated 6’0″, 235-pounder may not have the short-area quickness required to play linebacker in the NFL. The Jaguars already have Myles Jack and Joe Schobert starting at linebacker, meaning Quarterman will likely begin his pro career on special teams.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.