As the NFL regular season approaches, the New York Jets are trying to find a better solution to bolster their defense.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and the New York Jets are trying everything they can to rejuvenate their league-low defense from 2017. Head Coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan have continued to focus on the defensive side of the ball in recent NFL Drafts, despite taking the hopeful face of the franchise, quarterback Sam Darnold in 2018. The Jets are now taking an even bigger step by trying to get one of the AFC’s best defensive ends, Dante Fowler Jr.
According to a report by the New York Daily News, officials with the Jets reached out to the Jacksonville Jaguars front office about acquiring the 24-year-old star. This by no means guarantees a trade will take place, but the Jets inquiring is a step in the right direction for the Jets faithful.
Fowler is a defensive stud with only two years in the NFL. In his rookie season with the Jaguars, the Florida Gator compiled 12 sacks in 32 games. Since missing his entire first season in the big leagues, Fowler hasn’t missed one game since. Although Fowler will miss the first game of the NFL season this year due to a suspension handed out by the team for misconduct.
Jacksonville drafted Fowler out of Florida with the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. His hype was always on the radar of numerous NFL teams and he’s living up to the moniker. In 2017, the Jaguars defense held top-5 honors in points-per-game allowed, passing-yards-allowed and rushing-yards-allowed. Fowler is a cornerstone of Todd Wash’s defense.
As the Jets prepare for the 2018 NFL season, they’re trying to leave behind one of the league’s worst defenses. The Jets finished 25th in yards given up per game, 21st in passing yards given up per game and 24th in rushing yards given up per contest. Adding a player, the caliber of Fowler, has the potential turn all of those bottom-10 finishes, to top-10.
It’s not as if Gang Green doesn’t have the supporting cast to handle such a daunting task. Muhammad Wilkerson has seen himself out of New York. Former-first round draft pick Morris Claiborne continues to improve in the secondary. Linebacker Darron Lee will spearhead the linebacker core after an impressive season, ending with 94 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Just imaging a pair of defensive ends such as Leonard Williams and Fowler would make any defensive coordinator’s mouth water. Defensive Coordinator Kacy Rodger’s base 3-4 defense also displays the perfect fit for Fowler. What would be a perfect price for Fowler? A first-round pick isn’t too high of a price point, on top of an NFL-ready player. For an athlete that contains the skillset of his would demand a lot in return. Are the Jets willing to part with future pieces to a better franchise moving forward?