It’s been known that players like cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith haven’t been present for offseason workouts in Jacksonville. It’s now known that another key player hasn’t been present for voluntary drills.
Per a league source, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has been absent from the workouts. He showed up for the first few days, and he then left.
The 2016 third-round pick enters his contract year with 29.5 sacks in three seasons — that’s more than the 28.5 sacks generated by Joey Bosa, the third overall pick that same year.
Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark, who recently signed a five-year, $105 million deal, has 32 sacks over the last three years. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who also has signed in recent weeks a five-year, $105 million deal, has only 25.5 sacks over the past three seasons.
Ngakoue is due to make $2.025 million in 2019, and his absence undoubtedly relates to his desire to get a new deal before embarking on the final year of his rookie contract, which ultimately will pay out $4.6 million over four seasons. He joins Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones, who has 24 sacks in his first three years, as players exercising the primary leverage available to them to get what they want: Withholding of services.