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Raiders sign DE Yannick Ngakoue


HENDERSON, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent DE Yannick Ngakoue, the club announced Friday.

Ngakoue, a 6-foot-2, 246-pound defensive end, originally entered the NFL as a third-round selection (69th overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft. Ngakoue spent four seasons (2016-19) with the Jaguars before being acquired via trade by the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 and again by the Baltimore Ravens in the same campaign. Over his five-year career, the 2017 Pro Bowler and 2016 PFWA All-Rookie Team honoree has appeared in 78 contests with 70 starts, compiling 145 tackles (128 solo) including 49 for loss, 45.5 sacks, two interceptions including one returned for a touchdown, 10 passes defensed, 18 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. In five postseason appearances with four starts, Ngakoue totaled four tackles (three), one sack, one pass defensed and one forced fumble.

In 2020, appeared in 15 games and made eight starts with the Vikings and Ravens, tallying 23 tackles including seven for loss, collecting eight sacks, four forced fumbles and one pass defensed. He appeared in nine games with three starts with the Ravens after being acquired via a trade with the Vikings on Oct. 22, helping Baltimore's club rank second in the league both points allowed per game (18.9) and third-down efficiency (34.0 percent), while ranking first with 25 forced fumbles on the campaign. Ngakoue became just the fifth active player with 40-plus sacks and at least 15 forced fumbles since the 2016 campaign, joining Aaron Donald, Chandler Jones, Khalil Mack and T.J. Watt. He is just one of four players since sacks became an official state in 1982 to begin his career with five consecutive eight-plus sack seasons (2016-20).

Before joining the Vikings, Ngakoue appeared in 63 contests with 62 starts for the Jaguars, ranking second in franchise history with 37.5 sacks over that span, trailing only Tony Brackens' 55 sacks. Ngakoue posted at least eight sacks in all four seasons, one of just seven players in the NFL to accomplish the feat.

In 2019, he started in all 15 games played, notching a career-best 41 tackles (36), adding eight sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception that he returned for a touchdown and a career-high six passes defensed. Ngakoue started all 16 contests for the second consecutive season in 2018, posting 9.5 sacks and a career-high 33 quarterback hits, the third-highest total in the NFL that season. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2017 after collecting a career-high 12 sacks and NFL-leading six forced fumbles, helping the Jaguars earn their first AFC South title in franchise history and advance to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1999. As a rookie in 2016, Ngakoue set a franchise rookie-record with eight sacks, second-most among all rookies that year. He joined Tamba Hali, Terrell Suggs, Julius Peppers and Charles Haley as the only rookies in NFL history to post at least eight sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in their rookie campaigns.

A native of Bowie, Md., Ngakoue played three seasons at Maryland and saw action in 37 games for the Terrapins. He totaled 83 tackles (57), including 32 for loss, 21.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception and two passes defensed during his time with the program. His 21.5 sacks rank fourth in school history and his 13.5 during his junior season mark a Maryland single-season record.

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