3. Colts must compete with contenders to keep Yannick Ngakoue
When Indianapolis traded for Yannick Ngakoue last offseason, it was done with a very clear purpose: to bring a pass rush back to the Colts. Ngakoue understood the assignment and he delivered on the mission, leading Indianapolis to 44 team sacks— 10th-best in the NFL and the most by a Colts team since 2005. Yannick Ngakoue led the way with 9.5 sacks.
However, he wasn’t the only defensive lineman putting in the work. DeForest Buckner had eight sacks, Kwity Paye had six in just 12 games, and Dayo Odeyingbo had five. The entire defensive line stepped its game up and Ngakoue was a big catalyst for that. The Colts can’t afford to lose Yannick this offseason and have a regression in the pass-rushing area.
Yannick Ngakoue is one of the league’s most consistent pass rushers. Despite playing for five NFL teams in his seven-year career, he has had at least eight sacks in each season he’s been in the NFL. That’s the kind of consistency from pass rushers that every team in the NFL is looking for, especially contending teams. That’s why it may be hard for Indy to re-sign Ngakoue.
Yannick will surely have a lot of suitors in free agency and the majority of those teams will be franchises that feel they are on the brink of winning a Super Bowl. Having so many options may drive up Ngakoue’s price and it’s understandable if the Colts will eventually have to pull out of the race at a certain point because re-signing him may get too expensive, but as long as the price is within a reasonable range, Indy must do everything possible to keep Ngakoue in Indianapolis.