Baltimore Ravens just got a lot scarier on the defensive side of the ball.
The team announced on Thursday that they have acquired pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue from Minnesota Vikings. As part of the trade, the Vikings will receive a third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2022.
By acquiring 25-year-old Ngakoue, the Ravens have accomplished an important goal of adding a pass rusher to a defense that already leads the NFL in the fewest points allowed in 2020. He had 4.0 sacks, seven QB hits, and two forced fumbles in six games he played for Minnesota this season.
“We are excited to add Yannick Ngakoue to our football team,” said Ravens’ general manager Eri DeCosta in a statement. “Yannick is someone who we are very familiar with going back to the draft process years ago. He is an exciting player and a dangerous pass-rusher who makes us better. Yannick grew up here. He’s the type of person we welcome in our building. Finally, we are not finished building this team, as we continue to chase our ultimate goals.”
The trade comes as a surprise, given that Minnesota Vikings acquired Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville Jaguars in August. The Vikings sent a second-round pick in 2021 and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Jags at the time while planning to sign Ngakoue to a long-term extension.
Viking most likely changed their plans due to their poor start of the season, which sees them sitting on a 1-5 record and out of the playoff picture. Ngakoue is set to ask for a big contract next offseason, and Minnesota can’t afford to give him that if they are not competing for a Super Bowl.