Free agent pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue is apparently demanding between $8 million-$10 million on a potential contract, and that is something the Denver Broncos should explore.
The Denver Broncos would be paying roughly $1 million per sack if they were to sign the pass rusher, who is somehow still on the market. Ngakoue, 28, was a third-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft and has never had less than 8.0 sacks in a season.
He hit 12.0 sacks in 2017 and also has seasons of 9.5 sacks in 2018, 10.0 sacks in 2021, and 9.5 sacks in 2022. He's never had less than 11 QB hits in a season and has had three seasons of double digit tackles for loss.
Overall, he's one of the better and more consistent pass rushers in the NFL, but he is truly putrid defending the run. Well, for the Denver Broncos, that might not matter. The team recently signed Frank Clark, who is expected to play along the defensive line. Part of the reason why the team signed Clark was because of the news of Baron Browning's injury.
Browning could end up starting the season on the PUP list, so he'd be out at least four games. With Clark likely set to play along the defensive line, the Broncos do have an open spot opposite Randy Gregory at EDGE rusher. Would the Broncos, who had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL last year, really rely on Nik Bonitto or Jonathon Cooper to step in with Browning out?
I just can't believe that they'd feel comfortable doing that, especially when you consider Gregory cannot stay healthy. What if Browning does need to miss the first four games and Gregory also again gets hurt at the beginning of the 2023 season? Denver would then already be down their two starting pass rushers.
This is where Ngakoue comes into play. He desires between $8-$10 million per year on a contract, and I don't see much of an issue with that. He plays a premier position and has only missed five games in his seven-year career. Denver should make this move tomorrow if they are serious about winning.
Putting Ngakoue on a defensive front that also features Zach Allen, DJ Jones, Frank Clark, and Randy Gregory would be unfair to opposing defenses.