Yannick Ngakoue is one of the league's top young pass rushers down in Jacksonville. He's also supposed to be a free agent this offseason. Should Ngakoue hit the open market, he'd have plenty of suitors, and seemed quite likely to do so after tweeting out that he has no plans to sign a long-term deal with the Jaguars. Minutes after doing so, Adam Schefter reported that the Jags were going to use the franchise tag on Ngakoue.
So, it doesn't quite seem like team and player are on the same page here. If Ngakoue holds to his desire to not stay in Jacksonville long-term, the Jaguars would be much better off trading him and getting some assets in return. As Schefter points out, Ngakoue has an impressive statistical resume over the last four seasons, although last year was a bit of a down season for the edge rusher after he notched only eight sacks and 15 quarterback hits in 15 games. Still, the talent is evident and many teams could use a disruptive force like Ngakoue on their defensive line. Here are three teams that should consider trading for the sack artist.
New York Giants
The Giants were the most natural fit for Ngakoue if he did hit the open market, and remain the team that should be most interested in acquiring Ngakoue, even under the franchise tag. New York badly needs a pass-rusher after finishing 22nd in the league with only 36 total sacks last season. Markus Golden was their sack leader with 10 on the year, but nobody else on that defense managed to get more than 4.5 sacks. They don't have many additional assets to give up other than their own draft picks, but they'd likely be willing to give up the highest draft pick to land Ngakoue. They also have the money available to give Ngakoue the extension he'll no doubt want. A natural match of fit and need here.
The Falcons should be looking to make a quick turnaround this offseason and fix the various issues that resulted in a disappointing 7-9 campaign. One of those issues was the pass rush; Atlanta finished 29th in the NFL with only 28 sacks last season, and are planning on moving on from former first-round edge rusher Vic Beasley this offseason. Ngakoue would provide a crucial presence on the edge and allow the Falcons to use their first-round pick to build at other levels of the defense while coming in and contributing immediately without the usual rookie adjustment period. The money would be tight, but it's the sort of win-now move the Falcons should make if they're still committed to their current core.
Given the Dolphins managed to notch only 23 sacks last season (five full sacks behind the next-closest team), I'd be remiss to not include them on a list of teams who would be interested in an above-average pass rusher. Miami was bad by design last season, but at only 24, Ngakoue still fits their timeline and would become a building block for their defensive unit. Picking up a talent like Ngakoue via trade also opens up their options when it comes to April's draft and the three first-round picks they have; this year's pass-rushing class is on the weaker side, and acquiring Ngakoue lessens the pressure to pick up something resembling production on the pass-rushing front. They have the money and the extra picks to make a deal feasible. It makes a lot of sense, even if they represent the least-exciting option on the list.