Yannick Ngakoue

NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

Veteran pass rusher Everson Griffen had another solid year with the Vikings in 2019, making his fourth career Pro Bowl in his 10th season in Minnesota.

But heading into his second decade in the league, Griffen remains a free agent - and a possible Eagles target as Howie Roseman looks to bolster the pass rush.

And it's starting to sound like the interest goes both ways.

After a weekend of possible Jadeveon Clowney rumblings, Griffen took to Twitter on Sunday evening to tweet for the first time in two weeks. He responded to a tweet comparing himself to Clowney, and linking Griffen to... the Eagles.

Griffen's response was pretty telling:

Hmm.

A guy like Griffen, who's only tweeted 1,200 times in 10 years, chooses his tweets wisely, so this feels like a pretty clear message to GMs across the league, Roseman included.

The Eagles have been linked to Clowney, Griffen, and Yannick Ngakoue all offseason as they try to turn their defense into a unit that can straight up steal some games in 2020.

Jim Schwartz's defense tied for 13th in the league in sacks with 43 in 2019, a step up from 16th in 2018 but techincally a step down in volume from 44 in 2018.

Griffen rattled off 8.0 sacks in 2019, which would've been good for second on the Eagles, and has picked up at least 8.0 sacks in every season during which he's started at least 75% of his team's games.

Griffen, who turns 33 in December, is substantially older than Clowney and Ngakoue, but he's proven for years to be a reliable pass rusher who gets results. Plus, his age could bring the price down considerably, always a perk for Roseman.

It'll be interesting to see how things shake out, but it seems a partnership here would work.

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NFL rumors: Eagles apparently ‘outside looking in’ on Yannick Ngakoue

NFL rumors: Eagles apparently ‘outside looking in’ on Yannick Ngakoue

After dropping hints about his interest in the Eagles for the last several weeks on social media, Yannick Ngakoue was on ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday and described the type of team he wants to be traded to. 

Ngakoue didn’t mention the Eagles by name, but it sure seemed like he was describing them.

But are the Eagles really going to trade for the Jaguars’ 25-year-old defensive end? 

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter was on 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday morning and threw some cold water on that idea. 

I view the Eagles on the outside looking in on Yannick Ngakoue,” Schefter said. “That’s not to say that they couldn’t get something done because anything is always possible with them. But I don’t view them as a likely destination for Yannick Ngakoue going into the draft.

Schefter does think the Jaguars will end up trading Ngakoue but he’s not sure to whom and he’s not sure about how much the Jaguars will end up getting back for the franchise-tagged player. 

But Schefter did list the Eagles among five teams in the market for pass rushers and with some means to possibly pull off a trade for Ngakoue: Giants, Browns, Raiders, Eagles, Seahawks. 

“Of those teams, I don’t believe the Eagles are the favorite in that group at all,” he said. “I think that, more likely than not, those other teams for various reasons — picks, compensation, money, draft position — stand a better chance of landing Yannick Ngakoue than the Eagles.”

Ngakoue wouldn’t be cheap for the Eagles in terms of trade compensation or his next contract. I took a closer look at the possibility and the cost a little over a week ago.

The simple reason why the Eagles should be interested in Ngakoue is because he’s good and young. In his first four NFL seasons, all before he turned 25 last month, Ngakoue piled up 37 1/2 sacks and got constant pressure on QBs. And because he’s so young, there’s a chance he’s still getting better. 

If the Eagles don’t trade for a defensive end or if they don’t sign another one, they’ll be left with Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat and others. There’s a good chance they’ll use a relatively high draft pick on a pass rusher later this month. 

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Yannick Ngakoue's ideal next team sure sounds like the Eagles

Yannick Ngakoue's ideal next team sure sounds like the Eagles

Star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue appeared on ESPN's NFL Live on Tuesday, where he talked about his displeasure with the Jaguars - he's requested a trade multiple times - and about his future as a football player.

Ngakoue has sent signals on more than one occassion about his possible interest in playing for the Eagles, and while his answers on Tuesday didn't mention the Birds, it sure sounded like Philadelphia could be a fit:

I'm not really sure what team I'll be landing at, but the type of team I'd love to join is a team that has great culture. I really want to be a part of a team that has a great culture, and winning is a habit. I don't want to be part of a team where losing is a norm, or anything of that nature. I want to be part of something special. Also, I want to go to a place where the community, I can make a great impact in the community, reach out to younger people that look up to me.

Maybe it's just me... but that sounds like the Eagles.

From Jeffrey Lurie down to the franchise's charity arms, the Eagles are known as one of the league's strongest organizations, and Doug Pederson is known as a players coach who has created a strong culture in his time with the team.

Ngakoue's desire to win strikes a chord with the Eagles, whose win percentage across the entire league ranks No. 9 since 2010 and No. 5 since 2000. Ngakoue even used the Pederson-patented "norm" in his answer.

And in terms of his desire to find a team with a strong community bond, just look at the recent charity and outreach efforts from guys like Connor Barwin, Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Rodney McLeod, and plenty more. Philadelphia loves to root for a guy who gives back. Ngakoue said he's recently been working with No Kid Hungry, which raises money to feed kids in need around the country, so he'd fit right in.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro has previously looked at whether an Ngakoue trade makes sense for the Eagles:

We’ve spent plenty of time this offseason going over what a trade for Ngakoue would mean for the Eagles. They certainly don’t want to give up their first-round pick and it’s unclear if the Jaguars would trade away their stud pass rusher for anything less. 

And then there’s the money. 

For now, the Jaguars already used their franchise tag on Ngakoue, which means he’ll get paid just under $18 million in 2020 if he plays on it. That would suck up a lot of the Eagles’ remaining cap space, but they’d have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

And are there other teams out there that also fit Ngakoue's bill? Sure.

But he checks every box for the Eagles, and would turn their defense into one of the league's absolute best.

Just saying.

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