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Minnesota Vikings to trade for Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue

The NFC North just got a little more interesting.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Minnesota Vikings made a move that could significantly alter the balance of the NFC North. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Vikings are trading for Jacksonville Jaguars edge defender Yannick Ngakoue. The Vikings are sending Jacksonville a second-round pick plus a conditional fifth-round pick that could raise as high as a third-round pick. If Ngakoue is a Pro Bowler this year, it becomes a fourth-round pick. If the Vikings win the Super Bowl and Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl, it’s a third-round pick.

I know what you’re thinking. “How the hell can the Vikings afford Ngakoue?” Well, they can’t. Ngakoue’s current franchise tag deal costs $17.8 million and the Vikings have somewhere between $12 and $13 million in free cap for the 2020 season. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the franchise deadline for agreeing to a long-term deal has already passed for Ngakoue. So, instead, the Vikings will have to rework the contracts of some of their existing players. Or... there is this loophole, if the Jaguars agree to it...

Ngakoue, who has tallied at least 8.0 sacks in all four years of his career, now will line up opposite Danielle Hunter for one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league. Earlier this offseason, the Vikings decided to move on from Everson Griffen, who recently signed one-year deal with the Cowboys. Ngakoue is expected to fill his spot on the roster.