“The Houston Texans are going to enter the 2019 season without a general manager” should go down as one of the more amusing sentences in Seattle Seahawk history. It was a mere 52 days after Sports Illustrated published that piece that John Schneider heisted Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans in a move that broke the internet.
As Yannick Ngakoue journeys down a very familiar-looking path, it is not surprising that fans are making comparisons and having dreams of what a similar laugh-fest could look like with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Yannick Ngakoue: I don’t want to play in Jacksonville anymore.— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) March 2, 2020
Three minutes later ...
Jacksonville: You’re not leaving (unless we get something out of it too) pic.twitter.com/z5Yy29TtZE
Six of the first seven comments on Field Gulls’ original post about Ngakoue’s position made reference to either John Schneider or Jadeveon Clowney.
So how likely is it?
CBS Sports has released biggest offseason needs for every team heading into the draft, and here’s their take on where Jacksonville stands:
Sometimes all it takes is a quick look at Florida to feel better about one’s own situation.
So apparently, the only thing the Jaguars wouldn’t be interested in is a Jaron Brown / John Ursua package, which is unfortunate.
In terms of players, Jacksonville is desperate, but the Seahawks are an 11-5 team that doesn’t feel like it has expendable depth, anywhere. Potentially there’s some value at running back, but all the most interesting pieces like George Fant, Jarran Reed or everyone’s favorite trade bait Germain Ifedi are free agents.
Speculating on what players the Jaguars would take is pointless, because there are no obvious fits, and not a one of us predicted Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin would have sealed the Clowney deal last August.
Which brings us to the next problem: David Caldwell might not currently have a winning team, but they’re no faceless Houston front office.
Whatever dysfunction takes place in Houston, from owner Robert McNair on down, cannot be applied to the Jacksonville Jaguars, especially not in this instance.
The most recent transaction of significance - which took place less than six months ago - was Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for two first round picks and a fourth. The selfsame Rams who, instead of celebrating the opportunity to have Jalen Ramsey and Marcus Peters, chose...not that, and as Peters was traded earlier that week, presumably with the knowledge of the Ramsey deal in hand.
But use Jalen Ramsey as an example. Disgruntled player? Check. Top of his game? Check, far more than Ngakoue, even more so than Jadeveon Clowney. Locker room headache? Check, in a way that Clowney will never even approach.
Yet still, Jaguars GM Caldwell was able to essentially hamstring the Rams for the next three seasons. Having Ramsey could very easily still be better than having two first-round risks, but it’s in a different universe than Clowney for players and nothing higher than a third.
Unfortunately, Seattle fans simply cannot count on Caldwell to display the retweetable ineptitude of the Texans. He’s building a good history of mediocre or better trades, including actually convincing a team to give a draft pick - any pick at all - for Blaine Gabbert.
The second problem is that the team is currently trying to figure out what to do with Clowney’s contract, and Ngakoue is guaranteed $19.3 million. It’s irrational to think that Seattle would acquire Yannick at that price and get Clowney to sign for less than that, so you’d be looking at a high $38 million minimum for the two defensive ends in 2020.
That’s a bunch of money.
Finally, there’s the issue of draft capital. Seattle has an extra second, an extra fourth, and whatever Earl Thomas compensatory comes out to. None of them are top of round drafts. That’s most likely going to take a few to package up, and to be honest it’s more likely that Schneider trades up from 27 than it is that he throws a player and/or three draft picks to Jacksonville just to spend the farm on one rusher.
If Jadeveon walks, then obviously quite a bit of this goes out the window. But if he does, Schneider still should be looking to get a discount on that $19 million number, as reports are swirling that even Jadeveon at that price is no sure thing in Seattle.