Jaguars news: Yannick Ngakoue says he won't be attending Jacksonville minicamp due to contract issues
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Yannick Ngakoue says he won’t be attending Jacksonville minicamp due to contract issues

Yannick Ngakoue

The Jacksonville Jaguars, already without their starting middle linebacker for the foreseeable future, are currently absent one of the league’s best pass-rushers, too. Star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue announced on Monday that he will not attend Jacksonville’s mandatory minicamp as he and the team continue negotiating a contract extension.

“I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved,” he said, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”

Ngakoue has been absent for the vast majority of the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason training, but briefly reported to the team late last month to participate in OTAs. As he told reporters, the three-year pro’s presence wasn’t an indication that he’d relented on his desire for a new contract, but a reflection of his leadership position in Jacksonville’s locker room.

“Just trying to build some team camaraderie. Being a leader, trying to be different – that’s the main reason I came back,” Ngakoue said, per the team’s website. “I don’t have to be here, but I chose to be here. It just shows you how much I love the game, and that’s why I want to be out here and help some guys out.”

Ngakoue, a Pro Bowler in 2017, has more combined sacks and hits on opposing quarterbacks than any edge rusher in the NFL since he entered the league in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. Last season, he had nine and-a-half sacks and 33 quarterback hits. Ngakoue is in the final season of the four-year, $3.4 million contract he signed as a rookie, making him one of the NFL’s most underpaid players.

Jacksonville already finds itself without middle linebacker Telvin Smith, who announced earlier this offseason that was stepping away from football in 2019.