JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Frank from Jacksonville
Is $19 million a year not enough to support his family? Now Yan is acting like we are holding him back from putting food on the table. This was never about the money. Certainly, someone explained to him last year when the deal was on the table that he would never make up that money – no matter what deal he got in 2020. So, Yan wants out. The question is why? If it was former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, he's gone now. So, why does Yan want out so bad? Players should be thankful to be on a team making life-changing money – not dictating who they get to play for.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue once again on Tuesday expressed via social media his desire to play elsewhere. This understandably prompted a slew of Twitter reaction, and just as understandably promoted a slew of new – and exciting – O-Zone questions on the subject. What it did not do was significantly change the dynamics of this situation. Ngakoue rightly or wrongly long has been upset about his contract. He not unexpectedly now appears to be upset that the Jaguars have restricted his options in unrestricted free agency by using the NFL's franchise tag on him – and that they aren't agreeing to his wishes to trade him. As I have said often, I can't speak for Ngakoue. I don't know exactly what advice he received last offseason regarding his contract, and I don't know exactly what advice he has received this offseason. I can say that I like covering him, and I hope he and the Jaguars can agree to a long-term deal. I also can tell you that the Jaguars believe Ngakoue should be well-paid. They also believe they have offered Ngakoue fair compensation – more than fair, actually -- and they hope the sides eventually can agree to a long-term deal. I don't know why Ngakoue is apparently so passionate in his belief the Jaguars have treated him unfairly. What I absolutely know is the Jaguars aren't actively trying to trade Ngakoue – and I also know they have no incentive to trade him for less than very good compensation. Whether some team will call General Manager David Caldwell and wow him to the point of trading him … we'll see. But I don't get the idea Caldwell is feeling particularly pressured to make that happen. Nor should he be pressured, for that matter.
Stephen from 139
John, Yan wants out of Duval via trade or outright release. An outright release is not going to happen. For a trade to work, Jags want some "value" in return. The trade partner won't give up "value" unless they think they can sign him long term. So, is Yan's agent allowed to negotiate with potential trade partners or is the trade partner supposed to believe the Jags when the Jags relay what Yan has been asking? Obviously, there are backdoor communication channels, but what are the league policies in this situation? Thanks.
The Jaguars must give another team permission to negotiate with Ngakoue in your scenario.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
If we are trusting the tweets, Yan really doesn't want to be here. Hope Caldwell works his magic and we get compensated WELL.
Ron from Virginia Beach, VA
With Yannick saying on Twitter that he's done with the Jaguars and wants to move on, there really is no way of repairing the damage done – even if the front office makes him the highest-paid defensive end in the galaxy. At this point, no amount of money will persuade him to stay. Similar to saying, "I hate my job, but I love the money I'm making." I say we just let him go. What are your thoughts?
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue last month. That means he can't play for another team this season other than the Jaguars unless the Jaguars choose to trade him. The Jaguars also have the option of placing the franchise tag on Ngakoue next season. Why on earth would they "just let him go?"
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
I understand cash flow. However, do you ever see players being paid weekly, monthly or some other way than game by game? Given today's circumstances players might be going a very long time between checks? Season opening delayed, no payments. Also by spreading the payments across 12 months, the players could budget better, etc.
No. I don't see NFL players being paid another way other than game-by-game. A different pay schedule would possibly work for more prominent players who are assured of being on a team's roster for an entire season, but that's only part of the league. Too many players get released and signed during the season to pay players anything but week to week.
Sam From Nottingham, UK
You've got the choice of drafting Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No. 9 or Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson at No. 20; or Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah at No. 9 and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at No. 20. What's your preference?
I would probably go with Okuda and Kinlaw by a nose because I like Brown, Okudah and Kinlaw in that order – and I would take the combination with the better combination of players.
Bob from Sumter, SC
I feel Yann's pain. I can't imagine the adversity of having to provide for my family on $17 million next year, either.
We all have burdens to carry. Mine's never knowing if people love me for my looks or natural physical strength. It's tough on me. Everyday. I can't speak for anyone else.
Bryan from Egg Harbor, NJ
As much as I believe we should pick one of the top tackles with the ninth overall pick, Head Coach Doug Marrone kept emphasizing Tuesday the need for playmakers around The Mustache. Any chance we throw a wild card and draft Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III?
Marrone indeed made clear speaking to the media on Tuesday that the Jaguars need playmakers. So … not Ruggs in particular, but could the Jaguars go wide receiver early in the draft? Sure. Absolutely.
Gave from Chapel Hill, BC
Does the Jaguars' signing of former Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert to a pretty big contract indicate that the Jaguars made a mistake in giving a huge extension a few months ago to Myles Jack to play middle linebacker?
That will depend largely upon how well Jack plays in the next season or two after moving to weak-side linebacker. If he plays poorly, they paid him way too much. If he plays at a Pro Bowl level, he will be fairly compensated.
Justin from NYC
Not that I would advocate for trading quarterback Gardner Minshew II because I am excited by his prospects, but what round pick do you think he could command right now if he were put up for a trade?
Steve from Nashville, TN
John, do you think the NFL will delay the 2020 schedule release, typically made public about two weeks ahead of the draft, until after the draft?
Yes, though reports as of Tuesday were that the league will announce the 2020 schedule no later than May 9. Reports also were that the league plans to play a full schedule with no delays.
Chad from Jacksonville
What is fair trade compensation for Yannick? Would it be fair to say somewhere between former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's trade (two first rounders and a fourth) and on the lower end, a late first? Just trying to make my expectations realistic.
I doubt the Jaguars will trade Ngakoue for anything less than a first-round selection, and I don't know if that will do it. They're not predisposed to trading Ngakoue. They want him to play for the Jaguars. They feel as if they have treated him fairly and would like it to work out. They also realize that league rules dictate that Ngakoue will play for them or no one – at least through this year – unless they agree to trade him, which (again) isn't their wish.
Robert from St. Augustine, FL
If the Jags trade Ngakoue and release wide receiver Marqise Lee, they would save between $22-24 million. Do you see the front office sitting on the money or do they go shopping for additional players?
The answer would depend on who is available if the Jaguars make either or both of the moves you cite.
Marc from Oceanway
Hi, John. Do you care to comment on the trepidation I felt this morning when I saw the name Jerell on my schedule?
Jerell is frightening. Embrace your fear. It will keep you safe.
Jonathan from Jacksonville
No question or rant here, just hoping you and the fam are doing okay. Stay safe O!
We're good. Here's wishing the same for all readers. Even Jerell. And Logan. (And you, too, Alan.) And thank you.