The Cleveland Browns looked into adding star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
For almost the entire 2020 offseason, the Cleveland Browns were discussed as the most likely destination for free agent Jadeveon Clowney. However, Clowney was not the only star defensive end the Browns looked at this offseason.
Clowney was one of two star defensive ends with their destinations for 2020 unknown, joining Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue this offseason, but the 25-year-old has made it well-known his time in Jacksonville is over.
Although the Jaguars still have control over Ngakoue, the defensive end is going to hold out until Jacksonville trades him. That is where the Browns showed potential interest this offseason, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
Jacksonville has made it clear they do not want to part ways with Ngakoue, even though Ngakoue has stated he will not play for the Jaguars. However, the Jaguars seem intent on getting the biggest return possible in any trade for Ngakoue.
Based on his production the past several years, as well as his age, it would make sense for the Jaguars to attempt to wait it out until they receive a huge return. At a certain point, a team may feel like they need to go all-in with a move, so they will meet Jacksonville’s demands for a trade.
In the case of the Browns, they do not need that big move at defensive end. Combining Ngakoue with Myles Garrett would create arguably the best pass rushing tandem in the NFL. However, the Browns need to be smart with how they use their cap space and to not deplete themselves of assets.
The Browns inquiring about Ngakoue could have been as simple as seeing what Jacksonville’s asking price for a trade would have been. Once hearing what it would take to make a deal, the Browns could have backed away and not even consider making the move.
With Olivier Vernon and Adrian Clayborn opposite of Garrett, the Browns already have a solid group on the edge. Vernon may not have set the world on fire with his performance in 2019, he is fundamentally sound and provides the Browns with all of the tools needed at defensive end. Clayborn has also proven to be a solid pass rusher as a role player and can help in the run game.
It is interesting the Browns have looked at some of the best pass rushers in the NFL this offseason, even if they do not land either Clowney or Ngakoue. The Browns doing their due diligence has given them the opportunity in case asking prices drop dramatically or if someone has a change of heart. However, adding Clowney or Ngakoue are not moves that need to be made at this point for the Browns.