Yannick Ngakoue released a statement Monday saying he will hold out of mandatory minicamp after his contract desires have not been met.
"I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved. I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come," Ngakoue said in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
ESPN first reported the news.
The 24-year-old former third-rounder enters the final year of his rookie contract slated to make just a shade over $2 million. For a pass-rusher of his caliber, he is woefully underpaid compared to his production and talent. Ngakoue's 29.5 sacks in three seasons are tops among players from his draft class, a group that includes Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Chris Jones.
Ngakoue is one of the best young pass rushers in the entire NFL. The Jags snagging him in the third round made up for the whiff on Dante Fowler Jr., whom the team traded last season. Now the Jags have to find a way to pay Ngakoue more commensurate to his value.
With contract talks not going his way, Ngakoue will use his only method of recourse: withholding his services. By skipping mandatory minicamp, Ngakoue is subject to fines up to $88,650, per the CBA.
We shall see whether his decision to hold out kicks negotiations into high gear or creates an issue that festers through the summer and lasts into training camp.