Former Vikings defender shares plan for 2024 after bad season with Bears

Free-agent pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue
Free-agent pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Back in 2020, right before the start of the regular season, the Minnesota Vikings made a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars that resulted in them acquiring Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.

Minnesota made the deal after their need for a top pass rusher became much higher when Danielle Hunter suffered a significant injury earlier that year. With Ngakoue, the Vikings felt he had a good chance to help make up for the loss of Hunter out on the field.

Unfortunately, the former Jaguars pass rusher didn't even last a full season with Minnesota, as the team decided to trade him to the Baltimore Ravens following a Week 6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Oddly enough, Ngakoue's five sacks in a Vikings uniform still wound up leading the team in 2020 despite the fact that he only appeared in six games for Minnesota.

Former Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue still hoping to play in NFL in 2024

Since his time with the Vikings in 2020, Ngakoue has had stints around the league with the Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, and Chicago Bears. He appeared in 13 games with the Bears last season, but he only managed to accumulate four sacks and 11 pressures.

Ngakoue became a free agent back in March, and at 29-years-old, it shouldn't come as a surprise that he would still like to continue his career in the NFL during the 2024 season.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Ngakoue shared the following about what he's hoping to accomplish in 2024 with whatever team he ends up playing for.

"I haven’t really been thinking about an offer or details in specific at all. The only thing I’ve been thinking about is taking that grass again and re-establishing myself on the field as one of the fiercest competitors in the game today.

That’s the only thing on my mind. Everything else will come after that. I have to re-establish myself and remind people of why I’m one of the best [pass] rushers. That’s the only thing on my mind."

Before his time with Chicago in 2023, Ngakoue had never finished a single season in his career with fewer than eight sacks. So, next season, he will be out to prove that his disappointing performance with the Bears was a fluke and not something that should be expected from him moving forward.

Ngakoue earned a little more than $10 million from Chicago last season, and after his drop in numbers, a team will likely be able to sign him for a lower amount this year.

If a team believes they can get more out of him than the Bears, then he could be an underrated addition for a franchise that would like to improve their pass rush before the start of the 2024 season.

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