The Las Vegas Raiders will help improve their pass rush with the addition of Yannick Ngakoue.
One of the biggest names last offseason that was not able to hit the free-agent market was Yannick Ngakoue. The Jacksonville Jaguars elected to franchise tag him hoping they would come to a long-term agreement.
One year later, Ngakoue now knows where he will continue his playing career on his own terms.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ngakoue and the Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to terms to bring him out to Sin City. The deal is expected to be worth $26 million over the course of two seasons.
Ngakoue should feel accustomed to the new defense ran in Jon Gruden’s system thanks for the addition of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.Bradley played a significant role in the selection of Ngakoue coming out of Maryland in 2016.
The Raiders understood entering the offseason that they needed to upgrade their pass rush. Last season, Maxx Crosby led the way with seven sacks, while former top-five pick Clelin Ferell and Carl Nassib each only secured 2.5 or less each.
Can this be what fixes the Raiders?
Ngakoue heading out to the AFC West makes plenty of sense looking at deals with made by other teams. The Raiders freed up over $10 million in cap space to address their defensive needs, primarily in the front seven. Ngakoue has shown to be a premier pass rusher in the right system.
Last season, Ngakoue suited up for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens. He recorded 23 total tackles, 11 quarterback hits and eight total sacks. For his career, Ngakoue has tallied 145 total tackles, 96 quarterback hits and 45.5 sacks.
Las Vegas was one of four teams with 21 sacks on the year or fewer. To win in a competitive division, pressuring the quarterback is the best way to claim victory.
Now that the deal is finalized, the division has certainly become tougher entering 2021 and a pivotal year for Gruden’s tenure.