Key reasons why the Seattle Seahawks didn't trade for Yannick Ngakoue


The Seattle Seahawks appear ready to work with what they have along the defensive line heading into the 2020 NFL season.

Early in the offseason, many speculated that Seattle would try to acquire a big name pass rusher to add to its defense to replace Jadeveon Clowney or pair with him, but that has not happened.

With the season set to begin in under two weeks, Clowney remains unsigned and the Seahawks will employ a pass rush by committee approach rather than rely on one standout player.

Not every team is Seattle, however, as the Minnesota Vikings traded for edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday morning for a 2021 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick that could go as high as a third-round pick, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

Ngakoue will sign a modified franchise tender to make the deal work.

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With Seattle speculated to be a potential landing spot for Ngakoue earlier this offseason, why didn't the Seahawks work harder to acquire Ngakoue who would immediately become the most talented edge rusher on the team? 

Well, there are multiple reasons.

First of all, the Vikings invested significant draft capital in a second and potential third-round pick for a player who only has one guaranteed season in Minnesota. Seattle cannot compete with that offer after dealing multiple first-round picks for Jamal Adams. Their second-round picks will be crucial in acquiring young talent at team-friendly contracts. 


Second, with the Jamal Adams trade, the Seahawks will have to give out big money contracts to Adams and Shaquill Griffin soon. So the odds of resigning Ngakoue beyond this season didn't seem likely. The Seahawks won't pay Clowney's asking price of $20 million annually while Ngakoue declined an extension from Jacksonville worth $19 million annually. 

Finally, the Ngakoue trade appears similar to the Seahawks trade for Clowney last offseason, but at a higher price. Both edge rushers signing a franchise tender being dealt on the onset of the new NFL season, While Clowney played well in 2019 for Seattle, given his injuries and down year from a sack total, it would be hard to justify the price the Vikings paid for Ngakoue for a production like that. While Clowney is physically one of the most frightening players in the league, maybe being traded to a new destination so close to the regular season didn't let him get enough reps to have a breakout season.

Then, Clowney didn't even re-sign with Seattle, instead opting to play a game of chicken with the entire league. 

Heading into 2020 and following the acquisition of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, the Seahawks were better off not pulling the trigger on Ngakoue.