Jaguars turned down chance to trade Dante Fowler for Teddy Bridgewater two months ago

The Jaguars, who enter their bye at 3-5 and having briefly benched long-time starter Blake Bortles, could have turned to Teddy Bridgewater to save their season had they accepted the Jets’ offer before the season.

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.

The Jaguars had similar ambitions, but had only former Browns cast-off Cody Kessler behind Bortles on the depth chart when Bridgewater was offered to them. They also declined to make trades for former playoff starting quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor (Cleveland) or Nick Foles (Eagles), who were available at last week’s deadline, as well, instead signing former Steelers back-up Landry Jones, who had been out of the league since losing his job to Josh Dobbs in the preseason. The Rams hope Fowler can be a edge rusher for their playoff push, parting with only one pick this year (third round) and a 2020 fifth-round pick to acquire him. Perhaps the Jaguars will use one of those picks on a quarterback.

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