By: Hays Carlyon
Josh Allen’s emergence as a potential immediate star certainly affects Yannick Ngakoue’s importance to the Jaguars. It heightens it.
Imagine these two playing together for the next four seasons.
Hopefully, that will become the reality.
Can you imagine any team choosing for it not to happen?
We know Allen is locked in. The seventh-overall pick in this year’s draft will be a Jaguar for several seasons.
Ngakoue is the variable.
Jaguars personnel chief Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell have yet to make a deal with Ngakoue on a contract extension as he enters the final season of his four-year deal.
It’s bad business if this lingers.
Ngakoue held out for the first 11 days of training camp before reporting on Aug. 4.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone praised Ngakoue’s professionalism in how he has performed since returning to the team.
Ngakoue only played seven snaps Thursday night in the third preseason game against Miami.
Allen was the star of the show, recording four tackles (two for loss) with two quarterback hits in just 27 snaps.
This wasn’t a surprise. OK, maybe Allen looking like Lawrence Taylor was a surprise, but he’s been outstanding all of training camp.
The Jaguars have the salary-cap space to extend Ngakoue now.
They’ll have the money to pay cornerback Jalen Ramsey in 2020.
The Jaguars have to start preparing for the loss of beloved defensive end Calais Campbell. He turns 33 next month. Campbell carries a $17.5 million salary-cap charge next season.
The future is Ngakoue and Allen.
Ngakoue is 24, already has a Pro-Bowl berth, and has 30 ½ career sacks with 11 forced fumbles counting the playoffs.
Allen is 22.
This shouldn’t be hard.
It will be gross malpractice if the Jaguars break the duo up.
This should be simple.
Commit long term to Ngakoue by signing him to extension and watch these two become potentially the best pair of edge rushers in the NFL.
The rise of Allen doesn’t lessen Ngakoue’s value. It increases it.
They will feed off each other.
They will make playing quarterback against the Jaguars a living hell for years to come.
(You can email Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)