The Eagles were wise to stay out of the Ngakoue sweepstakes

NFL: DEC 29 Colts at Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 29: Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive End Yannick Ngakoue (91) during the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 29, 2019 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

Let me preface this article by saying I was a huge proponent of a trade for Yannick Ngakoue. However, I had a limit.

In case you missed it, the Vikings sent a 2021 2nd round pick and conditional 2022 5th round pick to the Jaguars. The 5th round pick becomes a 4th if Ngakoue is a Pro Bowler in 2020 and it becomes a 3rd round pick if the Vikings win the Super Bowl in 2020.

So, it will probably be a 4th round pick.

With that being the compensation, the Eagles were smart to stay out of the bidding.

Salary cap

I’m sure you are aware, but the Eagles are in salary cap hell in 2021.

They stand to be -$84 million in space next year. If they are able to keep all of their $23 million of space from 2020, then they will be looking at -$51 million in 2021.

Sure, cap wizard Howie Roseman could maneuver around money to get down under that cap, but that would’ve been even more difficult with a Ngakoue extension.

Ngakoue reportedly is taking ~$4 million less than the $17 million franchise tender to be traded to the Vikings. If that were to be true for the Eagles, then that would’ve left them ~$10 million in rollover cap for 2021.

From a money standpoint, the Eagles were right to stay put.

Retooling

The roster went from being one of the oldest the last few years to one of the youngest.

In 2019, the Eagles had an average snap weighted age of 27.2, second oldest in the league to the Patriots. They also boasted the oldest offensive line.

With Peters back in the fold, the same rings true in 2020. While the entire team as a whole is younger, the starting offense is actually older than the 2019 offense.

In 2019, the offense’s average snap weighted age was 27.8. If the Eagles go with Peters at RG and Mailata at LT, the average age is 28.3. Once Alshon Jeffery is back, that age gets older.

The Eagles are already down a 4th round pick in 2021 due to the Genard Avery trade. Although they recouped an extra 5th round pick in the trade back with the Cowboys in 2020, they aren’t in a position to send more early-round picks in exchange for expensive players.

Sure, Yannick’s age is attractive for the retooling, but the extra pick sent from Minnesota to Jacksonville ruins it for me.

On a team where there may be veteran cuts and retirements in 2021, the need for as many draft picks as possible is high. We’ve already seen the offensive line decimated by injuries, the team cannot provide adequate depth without draft picks.

I wrote about how the Eagles have seemingly dedicated themselves to getting more athletic and explosive, they can’t do that with fewer draft picks.

It’s fine to be disappointed in missing out on a premium talent like Yannick, but you also need to realize that the Eagles are better off saving for the entire team.

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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