There’s no doubt trading for Dante Fowler would help the Jets defense. The appropriate question to ask is what the Jets should pay to acquire him.
The Jets are smart to reach out to the Jaguars about the availability of Dante Fowler. The talented defense end is clearly out of favor in Jacksonville and there’s no more valuable commodity in the NFL than a productive pass rusher. That doesn’t mean Mike Maccagnan and company are going to break the bank to bring Fowler to New York.
Instead, expect the Jets’ interest to be pretty tepid. They’ll be happy to take him on if they can acquire him on the cheap, but Fowler isn’t someone they’re going to give up a valuable asset for. The only way this move is going to happen is if the Jaguars are desperate to unload Fowler due to his inconsistent play on the field and his issues within the team’s locker room.
In other words, Jaguars fans should forget about dealing Fowler for Teddy Bridgewater. In a vacuum, that sort of trade makes a lot of sense. Both players have solid value in the right situations. Jacksonville could certainly benefit from adding a quarterback to push Blake Bortles.
Fowler isn’t worth that much to the Jets though. In all honesty, finding a fit for him in their defense is a little awkward. He’s ideally suited to play as an end in a 4-3 system, but the Jets typically line up in a 3-4. It’s possible they could try to move Fowler to outside linebacker, but he’s never shown the type of instincts needed to thrive in that position.
The most likely plan would be to use Fowler as a pass rushing specialist on obvious passing downs. He’s got the quickness, strength and bend required to be a disruptive NFL player. He hasn’t put it all together with the Jaguars, but his talent is large enough to place a reasonable bet on.
If the Jets do make a firm offer for Fowler, it shouldn’t be anything higher than a third day pick in next year’s draft. His fit in their scheme just isn’t good enough to merit a higher price. Fowler isn’t headed to New York unless the Jaguars are willing to accept a fifth round pick or worse. If the Jets offer anything more they’ve really overestimated Fowler’s fit with their scheme.