The Baltimore Ravens improved an already elite defense on Thursday by acquiring former Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
To acquire Ngakoue, Baltimore sent a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2021 fifth-round pick to Minnesota. Ngakoue had played in just six games for the Vikings after he was traded to Minnesota from Jacksonville earlier this year.
Ngakoue is the fourth big name edge rusher to get traded in recent years, joining Dee Ford, Frank Clark and Jadeveon Clowney. All four of them were in, or entering, the final year of their respective contract when traded.
So, how does Baltimore's deal for Ngakoue stack up to those that it took to acquire those other three pass rushers? Let's take a look.
Dee Ford -- March 2019
Full trade: San Francisco 49ers receive Ford, Kansas City Chiefs receive 2020 second-round pick
The Kansas City Chiefs hired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo following the 2018 season, switching their defensive scheme from a 3-4 base to a 4-3. Ford made the Pro Bowl in 2018 with 13 sacks and a league-best seven forced fumbles but specialized in rushing the passer from the 3-4 scheme.
So, with Ford's fit unnatural in Spagnuolo's scheme, Kansas City elected to place the franchise tag on Ford, not committing to the pass rusher long-term. Just over one week later, they found a trade partner in the 49ers, who inked Ford to a five-year deal immediately after trading for him.
Still, the Chiefs were able to net a second-round pick in return, far more better than the third-rounder and conditional fifth the Vikings got in exchange for Ngakoue.
Frank Clark -- April 2019
Full trade: Kansas City Chiefs receive Clark, Seahawks receive 2019 first-rounder, 2020 second-rounder, third-round pick swaps
One month after trading away Ford, the Chiefs paid a premium to poach Clark away from Seattle.
Sure, Clark immediately agreed to a five-year extension with Kansas City, but that doesn't change the fact that the Chiefs mortgaged both a first- and second-rounder for a player who had yet to make a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team.
The move seems to have paid off for the Chiefs, as Clark made his first Pro Bowl with them in 2019 and played an integral part in the team's Super Bowl run.
Jadeveon Clowney -- September 2019
Full trade: Seattle Seahawks receive Clowney, Houston Texans receive Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, 2020 third-rounder
The Houston Texans trade for Clowney was an interesting one, as the team opted to trade the edge rusher for two linebackers and a pick, rather than a flurry of draft selections.
Martin, originally a sixth-round pick by Seattle, has totaled just 5.5 sacks in his two-plus seasons with the Texans and has yet to start a game for the team. Mingo spent one season with Houston last season playing in a limited role before signing with the Bears in free agency this offseason. And with that third-round pick, the Texans traded it to the Raiders in exchange for cornerback Gareon Conley, who was decent for Houston last season but has yet to play in 2020 due to injury.
So, based on Houston's return in exchange for Clowney, it would appear as if the Seahawks were the winners in this deal, right? Well, Clowney played in just 13 games for Seattle and recorded a career-low three sacks. Sure, he was great against the run, but the Seahawks brought him in partly to replace the production Frank Clark left behind.
Clowney would leave Seattle in free agency, waiting months to be signed before the Tennessee Titans inked him to a one-year deal just days before Week 1 of the 2020 season.
So, it's safe to say there really was no clear winner in this trade.
The verdict on the Ravens' trade for Ngakoue is still out, of course, he must produce for Baltimore in order for the trade to be validated. Still, based on what Baltimore gave up to land Ngakoue, it appears that Ravens GM Eric DeCosta remains one step above the rest when facilitating trades.