The NFL trade deadline is over but the rumors aren’t.
The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. for two mid-round picks from the Los Angeles Rams last week, but they could have gotten quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for him — straight up.
That’s according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports who is saying the team “quickly rebuffed” the New York Jets on the trade.
The Jets offered Bridgewater straight up for linebacker Dante Fowler in the preseason, league sources said, but were quickly rebuffed. Fowler was traded at the deadline last week for two mid-round picks; it was clear around the league that he was out of favor in Jacksonville all the way back in the offseason and not a part of their long-term plans, as the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option. The former third-overall pick was also a part of the locker-room discord in Jacksonville that dated back to training camp, when he was suspended by the team for a week after fighting with a teammate at practice.
The Jets reached out to the Jaguars in August, shortly after that suspension, sources said. New York had determined that rookie Sam Darnold was likely to be their starter by then and were just starting to shop Bridgewater and veteran backup Josh McCown. The Jags were offered Bridgewater for Fowler and declined quickly, with the talks fizzling after that. The Jets then moved on to other teams and got a third-round pick from the Saints for the former Vikings starting playoff quarterback; New Orleans viewed Bridgewater as essential insurance for future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in what they hoped would be a Super Bowl run.
Even with hindsight being 20/20 it’s a bit surprising why you wouldn’t want to add Bridgewater to your roster, especially in exchange for a player you weren’t planning on keeping. Blake Bortles ended last season with two good games in the playoffs but the previous four years had been filled with inconsistency and underperformance.
And now we sit at the precipice of Bortles being benched or seriously injured, Cody Kessler likely getting more snaps, Landry Jones as the primary backup, and our playoff hopes all but vanished.