Yannick Ngakoue wants to be traded to Eagles?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
March 23, 2020 - 7:01 am

Last year in training camp, when he was trying to force a trade from the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon followed a handful of teams on Instagram, including the Eagles. The buzz and excitement it caused among fans was mocked by some considering the Eagles didn’t need a running back at the time. The team trying to trade for Gordon didn’t make a ton of sense. 

Two days later it was reported the Eagles had made a trade offer for Gordon. 

The lesson everyone should have learned at that moment was that social media never lies — at least when it comes to athletes. Athletes are smart and they know how to use Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms to send a message in their own way that they can’t through the media. 

Which is why the recent activity of stud defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is so interesting. 

Over the last week Ngakoue has been flirting pretty hard with the Eagles on Instagram and Twitter. Almost daily he is liking tweets saying he should be on the Eagles or posting on Instagram about the Eagles. It seems pretty obvious he is trying to send a message. Or he is really bored while social distancing. Or perhaps both. 

Here is a rundown, with analysis, of everything Ngakoue has done so far on social media:

1. Likes two CBS Sports tweets

Ngakoue got the ball rolling by liking two tweets from CBS Sports reporters. One stating how the Eagles have interest in bringing in Ngakoue and one how great he would look along the defensive line. Ngakoue liking a tweet saying the Eagles have interest is certainly noteworthy. Ngakoue is presumably well aware of what teams do or don’t have interest in trying to trade for him. Liking the tweet either means he knows the Eagles have interest or he likes the idea of them being a team that does.

2. Posts an Eagle emoji on his Instagram story

Moments like this certainly make you wish that there was a Seahawk, Cardinals and Eagles emoji as opposed to just one bird. The chances this bird means anything but the Eagles, however, are slim. That emoji is the one that comes up when you type “Eagle” on the keyboard. It doesn’t come up when you type “Cardinal”, “Seahawk” or any other bird. There are multiple bird emojis that come up when you simply type in “bird”, so chances are Ngakoue intentionally meant to put that Eagle. 

3. Posts Reggie White on his IG story

Shortly after posting the Eagle emoji, Ngakoue followed it up with a picture of Reggie White. At this point it is hard to believe he was not well aware of what he was doing. He had to of seen the reaction he was getting from Eagles fans, the most vocal group of any fans in the NFL on social media, and was enjoying it. Posting a picture of White, arguably the best pass rusher to ever play for the team and who plays the same position Ngakoue does, is a clear message to Eagles fans. 

4. Like a tweet saying Eagles should trade for him 

No team can outright sign Ngakoue as he is currently under the franchise tag, meaning either the Jaguars will either need to remove the tag — which is very unlikely — or a team will need to trade for him. Ngakoue is obviously well aware of that. He knows he needs a team to both trade a high pick for him and be willing to give him a big deal. It seems pretty clear Ngakoue thinks the Eagles should do just that. Also, credit to Ngakoue for already knowing where to get the best Eagles coverage. 

4. Likes a tweet calling him a future Eagle

What is especially noteworthy about his social media activity is that he isn’t liking tweets about other teams. As mentioned above, last year Gordon followed multiple teams on Instagram. It wasn’t just the Eagles. That isn’t the case with Ngakoue, who is only liking tweets on Twitter about the Eagles. That is noteworthy. Ngakoue isn’t just sending a message he wants out of Jacksonville. He seems to be sending the message he wants to go to the Eagles. 

5. Says he needs to try a cheesesteak

This one is so over the top, and so obvious, it does make you wonder if Ngakoue is just doing this for attention. Eagles fans are the best, but also very active on social media and get excited very easily. Ngakoue seems to be aware of that and is likely seeing the mayhem he is causing with all of his social media activity. Posting that he wants a cheesesteak feels a little trolly. 

6. Posts pictures of Trent Cole 

Ngakoue was back at it on Sunday, posting pictures of another all-time great Eagles’ pass rusher, Trent Cole. 

Verdict: Ngakoue is not from Philadelphia, didn’t go to college in the area and grew up a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. There is absolutely no doubt that Ngakoue is doing all this on social media because he either wants to be on the Eagles or knows the Eagles have interest. It very well could be both. Sure, at this point Ngakoue might still be doing it because he knows people are watching and notice. But he has no reason to troll Eagles’ fans out of nowhere. This started from something, and it almost certainly started from him wanting to come to Philadelphia or knowing there was a chance that is where he could end up. 

If that is the case, it is hard to blame him, as Ngakoue would be great on an Eagles’ defensive line that lets their pass rushers run free at the quarterback. He would clearly enjoy playing in a city that lives-and-dies with its team and clearly wants him here. It would be a smart move for Ngakoue to want to be here, just like it would be a smart move for the Eagles to make it happen. 

Which is why his social media activity is worth continuing to keep an eye on. 

Who knows -- he might even end up liking the tweet with this article. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!