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INDIANAPOLISCertainly, there’s one Colts free agent who has to be thrilled about the return of Gus Bradley.

It’s no secret Bradley thinks very highly of Yannick Ngakoue with the two pairing up in 3 different NFL stops (Jaguars: 2016, Raiders: 2021, Colts: 2022).

And what Ngakoue gave the Colts is something no one in Indy should take for granted.

Playing under Bradley after being traded by the Raiders, Ngakoue had 9.5 sacks in 15 games.

From an age (27 years old), production (9.5 sacks) and durability (15 games played) standpoint, that combination form Ngakoue is something the Colts have longed for at the defensive end position.

Still though, there’s questions about continuing this marriage beyond 2022.

Ngakoue’s 9.5 sacks was good for 20th in the NFL last year.

But his 16.5 quarterbacks hits ranked 36th.

That stat shows Ngakoue lacked consistent pressure, especially as games moved deeper into the second half.

And then there’s the question that has followed Ngakoue around his career since entering the league in 2016—why hasn’t he found a more long-term home given the consistent sack numbers at a position of need?

Of course, the presence of Bradley still in Indy has to be a positive in the Ngakoue returning department (assuming the former third-round pick wants to stay here).

Ideally, would you like to see more consistency, especially in the second halves of games, from Ngakoue? Would you want better reps on run downs from the 230-pound defensive end?


But for a position that lacks anything in the proven rushing commodity, bringing Ngakoue back is something to definitely explore, as the growth for Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo (not a natural defensive end rusher) continues.

Ngakoue turns 28 years in late March.

2023 Free Agent Watches

Chase McLaughlin

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