Early Monday morning reports emerged that the Jacksonville Jaguars would not allow Yannick Ngakoue to hit the free agent market unfettered. In spite of stellar production during his time in Jacksonville, Ngakoue has made it no secret that he planned on moving on at the expiration of his contract. However, the Jags had no plans of allowing him to leave without a fight, and thus it is now expected that the franchise tag will be placed on Ngakoue.
That removes one of the premier names available in free agency from the market, while creating the possibility of tag and trade moves. And, just as every team is looking to bolster its pass rush heading into next year, a couple more names have been linked to teams using the tag. One of those is a pass rusher, and one of those is an offensive lineman whose job is to keep the pass rushers from doing their jobs.
Not sure if this has been reported, but league sources have told me that they expect the Redskins to franchise tag Brandon Scherff and the Steelers to tag Bud Dupree.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 2, 2020
So, while fans, not just of the Seattle Seahawks, across the league had hoped to solidify their offensive lines by adding three time Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff, his is apparently another name to take off the list.
Dupree is an interesting case, as he is a late blooming pass rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After recording 20 sacks over the course of his first four years, things finally came together for him in 2019 with an 11.5 sack campaign in his age 26 season. After turning 27 in February he is still young enough that teams will hope for another year or two of peak performance, and at this point it appears as though the Steelers may be looking to lock that in by having Dupree play 2020 on the tag.
In any case, it’s two more names that can be scratched off the free agent wish list. Be sure to keep checking back on Field Gulls as more reports about the application of the franchise tag emerge through this week and into the March 12 deadline, as well as for the latest on rumors and reports regarding releases and pending free agents.