JACKSONVILLE – What was long expected became official Friday.
Yannick Ngakoue, the Jaguars' veteran defensive end, on Friday afternoon was designated the team's franchise player. The move restricts Ngakoue's options in the NFL's upcoming free agency period.
The Jaguars had until 11:59 a.m. Monday to place the tag on Ngakoue, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on the scheduled March 18 start of the NFL's 2020 League Year.
The Jaguars placed the NFL's non-exclusive franchise tag on Ngakoue, meaning he can negotiate and sign with another team. The Jaguars would have the right to match the offer; if the Jaguars did not match the offer in that scenario, they would receive two first-round draft selections from the team that signed Ngakoue.
If Ngakoue signs the franchise tag, he will play for the Jaguars next season on a one-year contract based on the average of the of the top NFL defensive end salaries over the past five seasons. If he opts not to sign the tag, he will not play for any NFL team.
If Ngakoue signs the tag, he and the Jaguars can continue to negotiate a long-term contract.
Ngakoue, a third-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft, has registered 37.5 sacks in four NFL seasons – setting the Jaguars' rookie record with eight as a rookie, setting a career-high with 12.0 in 2017, then registering 9.5 and 8.0 this past season.