Yannick Ngakoue vows Raiders will see “different version of me”
Yannick Ngakoue wanted out of Jacksonville badly enough to turn down a long-term deal that would have paid him around $19 million a season with $50 million in the first two years. He then was traded twice in two months.
The pass rusher signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Raiders this offseason after stops in Minnesota and Baltimore.
“You’ll see a different version of me,” Ngakoue said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I’m not a big talker. I let my pads talk. But I just feel like I’ve been treating myself well mentally and physically.”
Ngakoue wasn’t happy in Jacksonville, Minnesota or Baltimore, and all three teams moved on from him. Ngakoue said he could have stayed with the Vikings, who traded for him Aug. 30, but he and General Manager Rick Spielman mutually agreed to part ways.
He arrived in Baltimore after a trade Oct. 22, but Ngakoue wasn’t happy his snaps were cut in half.
“I feel like in Baltimore, I wasn’t utilized the right way,” Ngakoue said. “That rotation was kind of ugly for me. Pass rushers need rhythm. You have to have multiple plays to set up moves, and I felt like I didn’t have that there.”
Ngakoue, 26, had eight sacks in 15 games last season. His only double-digit sack season came in 2017, which also was his only Pro Bowl.
In five seasons, he has 45.5 sacks, 96 quarterback hits and 18 forced fumbles.
“I still have a lot of dreams and aspirations to be one of the greatest to play this game,” Ngakoue said. “And there are great pass rushers who played on multiple teams -- Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman, guys like that who played on four teams before and dominated on a high level. I can do that.”