Yannick Ngakoue‘s tour of the TCO Performance Center included the wall of photos of the Vikings’ Hall of Famers. He saw defensive linemen Alan Page, Carl Eller, John Randle and Chris Doleman as well as the team’s other all-time greats.
In his first week as a Viking, Ngakoue already knows what he wants.
“I see in the building, they have on the wall all the Hall of Famers,” Ngakoue, 25, said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I just feel that’s the biggest motivation, if you really love this game and this sport. You look to your right, and you see the John Randles, the Randy Mosses, the Cris Carters. . . . That’s my aspiration, to be a Hall of Famer, and I’m working and striving to do that each and every day.”
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue of $17.788 million, but he took almost $6 million less to facilitate a trade to Minnesota. The Vikings acquired the defensive end from Jacksonville for a 2021 second-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round selection.
“Money was never my drive coming into this business,” Ngakoue said. “It has never been my drive. I’ve always wanted to be a great-caliber guy, great-quality guy, on and off the field. I just needed a fresh start, and Minnesota gave me the opportunity to continue to live out my dream. I’m appreciative and excited.”
Ngakoue wanted out of Jacksonville after being “a little disheartened” about not getting a long-term deal before the 2019 season. He did not offer specifics beyond that, instead focusing on his new beginning.
He will play right defensive end, opposite Danielle Hunter, coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Friday.