Yannick Ngakoue is getting out of Jacksonville by any means necessary.
Even if that means using social media to flirt with every team who is desperate for a playmaker off the edge.
The outspoken Ngakoue has become his own marketing agent on Instagram and Twitter, teasing fans with the possibility that he could become the new face of their defense.
While his antics may seem trivial on the surface because he is still under contract with Jaguars, there is a method to his madness. These posts are providing Ngakoue, who has 37.5 sacks in four seasons in Jacksonville, much needed leverage in his trade battle.
Each day he continues to post about the Eagles or any other team, he lowers his trade value and forces the hand of the organization to trade him as soon as possible.
Which is precisely what he’s wanted for weeks.
Eagles and Giants fans both lost their minds when Ngakoue posted old pictures of their respective teams on his Instagram story. Yet, these weren’t signs of playful banter to the fan bases, they were messages to Jacksonville to augment his escape from their dysfunction.
Recently, he has been posting more pictures of old Eagles greats, leaving some to believe that his best option for independence would be Philly.
He even posted a picture saying he was in “need” of a Philly cheesesteak.
Ngakoue is using his Wi-Fi connection to engineer the fastest route out of Duval County.
And he shouldn’t be the last player to use this tactic.
The social pressure of keeping a player in an organization against his will not only depreciates the player’s trade value but it also brings significant negative PR to the organization, especially when it is a talented black player.
The NFL for years has been trying to escape the oppressive stigma it has created, and an organization not allowing a player to amicably leave to start a new journey somewhere else will only add to the negative notion of the NFL and its owners.
As the years go by, teams will have to cave to the players’ wishes in order to preserve their brand and appeal to a younger more progressive fan base in the future.
Especially in Ngakoue’s case, when tensions between him and the team had been going south for a minute.
The end of the relationship between the two sides was crystallized when the pass rusher released tweets about how dysfunctional the organization was when handling his contract negotiations.
Ngakoue was franchise tagged by the Jaguars last month, and is looking for a long-term deal elsewhere. ESPN reported on Thursday that Jacksonville is starting trade discussions for Ngakoue at a first-round pick and more.
This isn’t the first time the Jaguars have squandered talent. A few months ago, star cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, asked out of town after he was fed up with how, he feels, the organization the front office portrayed him as a “bum.”
The obvious problems in the front office have taken its toll on the success of a franchise that had so much promise after making it to the AFC Championship in 2017, and Ngakoue isn’t having it anymore.
He’s taking his talents out of Jacksonville under his own power and his own control. He is just using his “Twitter fingers” as a guide to get there.