Yannick Ngakoue finally forced his way out of Jacksonville earlier in the week, and he appears to be quite excited about it.
Ngakoue had made it clear he was at odds with the Jaguars organization over his contract situation, dating back to last year, and the dissension between the two parties continued to devolve. He refused to sign his franchise tender this summer, essentially forcing the team to trade him. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that likely lowered the trade haul they received in return, as the Vikings acquired Ngakoue for a pair of draft picks (2021 second-round and 2022 conditional fifth-round). Jacksonville was not able to land the first-round pick it was reportedly seeking.
And while the Jaguars probably weren’t thrilled about their trade haul, Ngakoue sure appears to be thrilled to no longer play for arguably the worst organization in the NFL.
“It’s a fresh start,” Ngakoue said during his introductory press conference Friday, via NFL.com. “A breath of fresh air.”
He also had high praise for new teammate Danielle Hunter.
“We just met,” Ngakoue said. “I’m pretty sure we’ve known of each other because we’re top EDGE guys in this league. That’s what we’re trying to be. We want to become the best of the best. We want to be elite.
“When you talk about EDGE rushers, you want them to talk about Danielle and Yannick. I’m just glad that we’re on the same team and we can push each other each and every day. I’m pretty sure our friendship will build as time goes on.”
The Vikings pass rush took a hit in losing Everson Griffin, but the acquisition of Ngakoue may make it even better than it was in 2019. And it’s safe to say Ngakoue will be motivated to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.