Can’t say that it’s a surprise on either front. The Jets need pash rush help and for the Jaguars, Dante Fowler has been….well, Dante Fowler. Fowler has just come off a team imposed one week training camp suspension for starting an altercation after practice with fellow defensive line mate Yannick Ngakoue.
So, naturally there has been speculation that Fowler may be on his way out of North Florida.
After all, the Jaguars very publicly didn’t pick up the fifth year option on their former 2015 #1 pick, and basically challenged him to not only continue to work hard and improve his play, but basically to demonstrate he can be a good teammate/citizen to earn a new deal.
BREAKING: #Jets reach out to Jaguars to gauge their interest in trading pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr., per sources.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 21, 2018
Mehta’s had this insight:
Gang Green reached out to the Jaguars to gauge their interest level in trading uber-talented — and mercurial — defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr., according to sources.
The 24-year-old Fowler, who returned Monday from a week-long suspension for violating team rules and “conduct unbecoming a Jaguars football player” after fights in practice, would be an ideal fit for the Jets, who haven’t been able to generate consistent pressure off the edge in years.
“Well, we don’t have the name guy,” Todd Bowles said last week. “We don’t have the Lawrence Taylor, so to speak, but we have guys that work hard and are very tough at the point of attack. You don’t need a name guy. You just need a guy with production. And the production will make the name. Disrupting the quarterback is the big thing as well as setting the edge. We have certain guys that can do a lot of things right now. We’re mixing and matching to get a feel for what guys can and can’t do right now…”
Mehta did not have any specifics on what the Jets were offering according to his source but his and our speculation is that it would likely take a premium draft pick (2nd-3rd round) at least for the Jags to trade him now.
It’s also important in the short term that Fowler is suspended by the NFL for the first game of this year, coincidentally in New York against the Giants, after he pled no contest to assault charges in March.
Fowler blossomed during Jacksonville’s playoff season of 2017. The former #1 pick, had a breakout season with eight sacks, as the Jaguars defense was the top one in the NFL at rushing the quarterback. And, Jacksonville went on to win the AFC South and make the AFC Championship Game.
And as Mehta points out, the Jets have been in the bottom five in sacks in each of the last two seasons.
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