Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue held out of the team’s mandatory minicamp because he wants a new contract. Three weeks later, there are no signs that the two sides are any closer to a resolution.
The Florida Times-Union even suggests that the holdout could drag into the regular season, which would be a disappointing development both for Ngakoue (who could start losing game checks in addition to the fines he’s already piled up) and for the Jaguars (who don’t want to start the season without a pass rusher who has 29.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons).
Ngakoue is heading into the fourth and final year of his rookie contract and is slated to make a salary of $2.025 million this season. That’s far below the going rate for pass rushers of his quality, but the Jaguars may figure they don’t need to be in any hurry to give him a big pay raise, given that he’s a bargain this year and could be kept for the franchise tag next year.
If the Jaguars aren’t willing to pay Ngakoue what he’s asking for, the only leverage he has is withholding his services. Training camp opens on July 25, and at the moment no one knows if Ngakoue will be there.