Colts officially close the door on Yannick Ngakoue

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After trading for him just one season ago, the Indianapolis Colts have made it clear that they won’t be re-signing veteran defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

Last offseason, one of the bigger moves for the Indianapolis Colts was a trade for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Indy sent promising corner Rock Ya-Sin to the Las Vegas Raiders. While it was tough losing Ya-Sin, everyone saw it as a worthy sacrifice because the Colts desperately needed to improve their pass rush, and the hope was that Ngakoue would help Indy contend for a title last season.

As we know, the year didn’t unfold anything like that. Indianapolis was an abysmal 4-12-1 and had an extremely embarrassing season. However, Yannick Ngakoue did help Indy improve its pass rush. He led the team with 9.5 sacks and Indianapolis had the most team sacks in a single season for the franchise since 2005. However, Ngakoue won’t be seeing a second season with the Colts, at least not immediately.

With Indianapolis signing Samson Ebukam, and Ngakoue lingering in free agency, it seemed like Indy had decided to move on. On Wednesday, the team made it clear that was the case. Speaking with the media, defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, announced that Yannick Ngakoue won’t be returning.

Colts moving forward without Yannick Ngakoue

Ngakoue was impactful on the field and he also immediately ingratiated himself with the Indiana community. Before even suiting up for the Colts, Yannick was finding ways to use his platform and benefit others throughout Indianapolis. That will certainly be missed.

From a football perspective, Indianapolis is turning towards its youth. Ebukam is the same age as Ngakoue but Indy’s other rushers like Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo are early in their careers. It’s also safe to expect the Colts to select a defensive linemen or two in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. Hopefully, the pass rush stays productive and continues to improve.

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