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Jets interested in Fowler Jr.

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Yeah maybe Robbie Anderson can take him under his wing.

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Sources: Jets reach out to Jaguars to gauge interest in their pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr.

Manish Mehta
AUG 21, 2018 | 9:20 AM
  
 
 

The Jets’ lack of a difference-making pass rusher prompted them to recently explore one very intriguing possibility.

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…”

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The reality is that nobody on the Jets roster has the pedigree or skillset of Fowler, who was the third overall pick of the 2015 draft. After Fowler missed his rookie season with a torn ACL suffered on the first day of rookie minicamp, he had four sacks in 2016.

Last season Fowler flashed some of the pass-rushing talent that had teams — including the Jets — drooling while he was at Florida. He racked up 10 sacks in 2017 (including the playoffs) to help the Jaguars reach the AFC Championship Game.

Dante Fowler Jr. chases Tom Brady during 2018 AFC Championship Game.
Dante Fowler Jr. chases Tom Brady during 2018 AFC Championship Game. (Elsa / Getty Images)
 

“It's a passing league,” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. “You want to stop the run from a defensive philosophy and make teams one-dimensional, but it is a passing league. So, at some point in time, you got to affect the quarterbacks. You have to. It’s important, no doubt. We have to affect the quarterback, but there are a lot of different ways to affect the quarterback. With coverage, with blitz, with mixing it up. It's a combination of things.”

Or with a player like Fowler.

Fowler, however, has had his fair share of off-field incidents. He’s suspended for the first game of this season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy stemming from three misdemeanor charges during an arrest in 2017.

Jacksonville didn’t pick up Fowler’s fifth-year option (for $14.2 million in 2019).

Fowler would make plenty of sense for the Jets, who would fill their biggest defensive need. But what would it cost?

Would the Jets pony up a premium-round pick for a player who they might be able to get on the open market after the season?

What incentive would the Jaguars, who are legitimate Super Bowl contenders, have to move Fowler for anything other than a king’s ransom?

The Jaguars could theoretically offer Fowler a long-term deal or place the franchise tag on him after the season. They would be in line for a good compensatory pick if Fowler walks in free agency. So, it seems smarter for Jacksonville to hold on to Fowler unless they get bowled over in a deal.

But there’s no harm in the Jets, who have ranked in the bottom 5 in sacks each of the past two seasons, asking.

They could use the help.

Bowles and Rodgers have given Josh Martin, Brandon Copeland, Dylan Donahue and undrafted rookie Frankie Luvu opportunities this summer to grab the outside linebacker job opposite Jordan Jenkins.

“We're kind of finding the right combination of guys,” Rodgers said. “We're seeing… guys getting close. We just have to be more consistent in getting closer more often.”

Getting close isn’t good enough. They need someone to get home.

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36 minutes ago, C Mart said:

JMO but I think Mcc will claim or trade for someone today. He might not be a name but someone that can at least be a designated pass rusher that can put some pressure off the edge and then go for a bigger upgrade next years FA/draft

Agree

Think the same happens with a back up LT

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16 hours ago, David Harris said:

I'd give up a 3rd for Fowler now that we have an extra free one. 

But I'm also fine with just waiting a year - Fowler isn't going to help Darnold and that's all I care about this season.  How good our defense is in 2018 is fairly immaterial over the arc of Sam's career.

All in for 2019.

Yeah.  I have very mixed feelings about getting Fowler.  Jets need a pass rusher badly.  He's probably the best one who is available.  He is also a problem child.  Not only does he have off field issues, but he seems to have locker room issues.  Not sure they will resign him.

Do the Jets really want to give up a 3rd round pick for what will probably be a one year rental in a year they aren't going to challange?  Next year's draft is loaded with edge rushers.

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