The Seahawks, who have declared their desire to improve their pass rush this offseason, reportedly are interested in acquiring Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville. It certainly makes sense, but how realistic is it?
Ngakoue is expected to be tagged and traded by the Jags; he has said he will not sign a long-term deal there. But what would he cost, in picks and pay?
Sources tell NFL draft insider Tony Pauline that the Seahawks might be able to get him for a second-rounder and a swap of their first-rounder for the Jags’ 2. That seems legit.
That report was corroborated by SI’s Corbin Smith, whose source told him the Seahawks consider Ngakoue a fallback move if they can’t re-sign Clowney.
Well, they don’t seem likely to keep Clowney, so this deal might have some merit, if they are willing to pay Ngakoue.
John Schneider reportedly is not interested in paying Clowney over $18 million — while the star free agent is said to be seeking a market-setting $24 million. Some think he will have to settle for no more than $20 million, which still could be too rich for Schneider.
But Carroll recently talked about getting a “real premier pass-rush guy to play the LEO spot,” so would they be willing to pay the almost-25-year-old Ngakoue, who has 37.5 sacks in four seasons?
The tag will be $19.3 million, so that would be the starting point for negotiations. They could do a five-year, $100 million deal that had a first-year cap hit of maybe $14 million, leaving them plenty of money to add another pass rusher and the few ancillary positions they need.
Plenty of people are wondering whether the Hawks could keep Clowney AND acquire Ngakoue. The answer is yes, they could. But it would be stunning if Schneider paid both of these guys $20 million a year.
Frankly, it seems more likely that Schneider is just checking into a possible trade and won’t want to pay huge money to anyone.
As Schneider said last year, “People around the league know we’re in every deal. We’re always trying to understand the landscape around the National Football League. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing our job. We can’t have our head in the sand with anything.”