Yannick Ngakoue trade creates bad precedent for franchise tagged players
On one hand, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue gave up $5.788 million in salary to get out of Jacksonville. On the other hand, he made $12 million via the trade to Minnesota, since he wasn’t going to play at all this year for the Jaguars.
Regardless, Ngakoue’s decision to give up $5.788 million and to get nothing in return (like a promise by the Vikings not to tag him again in 2021 or incentives based on playing time or sacks), Ngakoue has created a precedent that could become problematic for players who hope to leverage a tag into a trade and a long-term deal.
Ngakoue isn’t the first franchise-tagged player to take less in order to facilitate a trade; last year, Jadeveon Clowney gave up $970,000 of his $15.97 million franchise tender to get from Houston to Seattle. He also received a commitment that he wouldn’t be tagged this year.
Ngakoue gave up nearly a third of his franchise tender and received nothing. This becomes an invitation to squeeze future franchise-tagged players to agree to reduce their tenders in order to make a trade happen. Whether that works remains to be seen. However, it’s a new tool that other teams will surely try to use.