The move to sign defensive end Yannick Ngakoue made plenty of sense for several reasons for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Ngakoue is already familiar with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme from their days with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not only that, he will be reuniting with his former college teammate Quinton Jefferson as new additions to this revamped defensive line.
However, not every reunion carries the best track record. Ngakoue was also the one that accused guard Richie Incognito of using a racial slur during a playoff game between the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills in 2018.
Try left guard Richie Incognito, who Ngakoue accused of using a racial slur against him in a Jan. 7, 2018 playoff game when Ngakoue was with Jacksonville and Incognito with the Buffalo Bills. A few weeks later, though, Incognito said the two “hugged it out” at the Pro Bowl.
Fortunately, the two were able to hash things out at the Pro Bowl a few weeks later, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
“For sure,” Ngakoue said. “That’s been put to rest since the Pro Bowl. It’s part of the game — we all talk trash and stuff like that and sometimes we go overboard with things. But, you know, it’s all about forgiving, man, and I find that’s what’s wrong with the world nowadays — we look at problems that occur and we stick with that stigma and we don’t know how to forgive.
Ngakoue added that there is no sense of bad blood between him and Incognito.
“I’m a forgiving dude and I don’t really care. I’m ready to play for Richie. I’m the type of guy that, when we’re playing, if somebody is in Richie’s face or anything like that, I’m backing him up 100%. So all that, that’s out the window.”
It is certainly encouraging to see that it did not take long for them to talk things out. This should certainly help pay huge dividends in their next chapter as new teammates.
Incognito returned on a one-year deal following his release earlier in the offseason. His presence on the field and in the locker room should help serve as a stabilizing factor for this new-look offensive line.
Meanwhile, Ngakoue is expected to provide a much-needed spark on the opposite side of the ball for the Raiders. While fans are happy to see that all is well in the building so far, it will be interesting to see if it is sustained throughout the course of the 2021 NFL season.