Yannick Ngakoue will not be playing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020 as many 12s hoped.
On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings agreed to a trade involving defense end Yannick Ngakoue. The Vikings traded a second-round pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-round choice in 2022 for Ngakoue. Yannick Ngakoue still needs to sign his tender but he will do so.
This means that the Seattle Seahawks might still be searching for a way to get a proven edge rusher who is not really a linebacker. Seattle did add Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa this offseason in free agency but both are situational players. Ngakoue is a full-time defense end who opposing teams have to game-plan for.
One huge problem the Seahawks had in 2019 is a lack of consistent pass rush. Seattle might be slightly improved on paper in that category in 2020 but they still really need to add a player like Yannick Ngakoue to solidify the defensive line. Seattle had talks with the Jaguars about acquiring Ngakoue but Seattle clearly didn’t offer enough.
When the Seahawks traded for safety Jamal Adams and gave up two first round picks for him, it put the team in a position where they probably didn’t want to also give up their second round choice to gain another player. General manager John Schneider likes to have many draft picks and giving up the first and second round picks in 2020 would obviously gut the team’s ability to choose young players.
Yannick Ngakoue makes Vikings formidable
Seattle could still be in play for the services of Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks can win a lot of games without Clowney, but adding him puts Seattle is a position to compete for a Super Bowl. But their rivals in the same chase have improved their pass rushes and Seattle hasn’t done as much.
Last year, the Seahawks lost to the Packers in the playoffs. Last offseason, Green Bay had acquired Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith and Seattle saw those two players create chaos for them. Now the Vikings have Ngakoue and already had Danielle Hunter.
The Cowboys signed Everson Griffen, formerly of the Vikings, this offseason. Teams know that getting heat on opposing quarterbacks is a must to win games. But Seattle appears to want to rely more on a great linebacker group and good secondary. That is unless Seattle can re-sign Jadeveon Clowney.