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The New York Jets have been looking to enhance their defensive lineup, with the addition of an experienced pass rusher firmly on their agenda. Veteran free agent Yannick Ngakoue, who was listed as the top free agent still available in recent updates by Sports Illustrated’s Gilberto Manzano, has become the latest name to be linked with the franchise.
Manzano suggested that the Jets would benefit handsomely from bringing in Yannick Ngakoue as a rotational pass rusher, especially if rookie Will McDonald IV struggles to find his footing. He pointed out how the best teams in the league, such as the 49ers and Eagles, have depth at edge rusher, and the Jets management is hopeful to achieve that level of depth as they aspire to compete at the highest level with their high expectations, especially with the arrival of talented quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
During a recent interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Ngakoue addressed his plans for the upcoming 2023 NFL offseason, revealing that he wants to settle down at a new team where he can establish himself long-term. He spoke passionately about starting a family and focusing on his personal life without the disruptions of constant movement from team to team. At 28 years of age, Yannick Ngakoue has been labeled as a hired mercenary in the NFL, having played for four different NFL teams over the last three seasons.
Despite the constant moving, Ngakoue has been consistent in producing outstanding results, with a record of 65 sacks, 21 forced fumbles, and 135 quarterbacks hits in his seven seasons in the league so far. Moreover, Ngakoue’s strength lies in the most important category for his team – rushing the quarterback. While he struggles in many other areas of the game, his expertise in pass rushing makes him a valuable asset for any team looking to enhance their defense.
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Although there are concerns about Ngakoue’s well-rounded game, his unique skills in pass rushing could prove to be the difference-maker. The Jets certainly need an imposing figure like Ngakoue in their defensive set up, and his addition could be the catalyst to enhance the team’s playing style – particularly in special pass-rushing packages, where he could maximize his exceptional talents.
Finally, Robert Saleh, the head coach of the Jets, has made it clear that the team plans to play with more leads in the upcoming season with the arrival of Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. With this being the case, a sound defense featuring a pass-rusher of Ngakoue’s quality will be pivotal for the franchise. The Jets have several talented pass rushers in their ranks, including the likes of Quinnen Williams, Carl Lawson, and John Franklin-Myers. However, in the quarterback-driven NFL, a team can never have enough pass rushers, and the addition of Ngakoue could prove to be the difference-maker when it matters the most.