JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars expect defensive end Yannick Ngakoue’s holdout to be relatively brief.
Coach Doug Marrone said Thursday that Ngakoue “will report,” presumably in the next two weeks. According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, Ngakoue must report no later than 30 days before the Sept. 8 season opener to accrue a fourth season and become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. If Ngakoue reports after the 30-day deadline, he would be a restricted free agent in 2020.
Being a restricted free agent would allow the Jaguars the ability to match any team’s contract offer.
“He’s trying to get this thing done,” Marrone said. “We’re trying to get this thing done. We’re excited for him. He’s going to come. He will report. I don’t know when. I know it’ll be before a certain date. And, when he comes, we’ll be excited about it.”
A third-round draft pick from Maryland in 2016, Ngakoue is entering the fourth and final year of a $3.84 million rookie deal. He’s due to make $2.025 million this fall — far less than other top playmakers at his position.
Ngakoue showed up for the start of voluntary organized team activities in May, vowed to attend the remaining dozen practices, and emphatically said he plans to play this season even if he doesn’t get a long-term contract. He bailed on teammates and coaches three days later. He also skipped a mandatory, three-day minicamp in June that drew fines totaling nearly $90,000.
The 24-year-old Ngakoue has 29½ sacks and 10 forced fumbles in three seasons. He finished with 9½ sacks last year, but no strip sacks for the first time in his NFL career.
He hopes to join a list of top-flight pass-rushers who have cashed in recently.
Dallas’ Demarcus Lawrence and Kansas City’s Frank Clark signed five-year, $105 million contracts. Lawrence got $65 million guaranteed, and Clark received $62.3 million guaranteed.
Trey Flowers signed a five-year, $90 million deal with Detroit that included $56 million guaranteed. And Dee Ford signed a five-year, $85 million contract with San Francisco that included $45 million guaranteed.
“We see what they’re getting,” Ngakoue said in May. “At the end of the day, it’s a blessing to be in that position and I’m thankful. If it comes, it comes.”
Ngakoue has more sacks than Lawrence (26), Ford (25) and Flowers (21). But the Jags also landed his potential replacement in April when they drafted Kentucky standout Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick. Allen practiced Thursday for the first time in more than two months. He missed most of OTAs and minicamp following a bruised right knee.
USA Today reported earlier this week that Jacksonville offered Ngakoue a deal that would have averaged $19 million annually and included $50 million guaranteed in the first two years before negotiations broke down.
“It’s really part of that business what goes on,” Marrone said. “This is the business side of it. I stay out of it. I always have.”
NOTES: The Jags signed veteran defensive back and Josh Robinson and first-year safety Anthony “Fish” Smithson. They filled roster spots that opened when the team placed Ngakoue on the reserve/did not report list and linebacker Telvin Smith on the reserve/retired list. … The Jaguars removed rookie running back Ryquell Armstead from the physically unable to perform list in time for the first camp practice. Armstead, a fifth-round draft pick from Temple, was placed on the PUP list following a conditioning test that turned out to include faulty readings.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL