The team that finished last in the NFL in sacks this past season is adding a proven pass-rusher. Yannick Ngakoue is joining the Chicago Bears.
This offseason has seen a relatively slow market for veteran pass-rushers. There were several proven players that either entered the free-agent market or were forced to after being released by their 2022 team.
Slowly but surely, these performers have found new homes. Frank Clark was released by the Chiefs this offseason and is now with the Denver Broncos. Leonard Floyd had three productive seasons with the Los Angeles Rams but was cut loose earlier this year and eventually signed by the Buffalo Bills. Players like Carlos Dunlap and Justin Houston, each with 100,0-plus career sacks, remain available.
On the other hand, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is not. A third-round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016, he’s about to join his sixth team in eight years.
The former University of Maryland product played in all 16 games as a rookie, made 15 starts, finished with eight sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception. His first four NFL seasons with the Jaguars saw him total 36.5 QB traps, 14 forced fumbles and five takeaways. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017, the year the Jaguars last reached the AFC title game.
Will Yannick Ngakoue solve the Bears’ pass-rushing woes?
In 2020, he began his tour of the league. He was dealt to the Minnesota Vikings and finished with five sacks in six games. That same season, he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens and totaled three sacks in nine outings.
In 2021, he hit the free-agent market and signed with the Las Vegas Raiders. He inked a two-year, $26 million deal with the Silver and Black (via Spotrac) and finished with 10.0 sacks in 17 starts. However, he was then dealt (again) to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. A total of 15 games and starts in his newest home saw him lead the club with 9.5 quarterback traps.
It all adds up to 65.0 sacks (8-plus QB traps in each of his seven seasons) and 21 forced fumbles. Now he’s headed to the Windy City and joins a team that finished with the worst record in the NFL (3-14) in 2022. Chicago finished last in the NFC North and takes a 10-game losing streak into this season.
Will Ngakoue help a Bears’ team that allowed the most points in the league this past season and totaled a league-low 20 sacks?
Is this a trick question?