JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's time for another Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag. Each Saturday morning I'll answer a representative question, hitting a topic that drew the most interest. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco. Please use the hashtag #jagsmail.
Trade for Eli? Nah. If we're going to trade for anyone it should be Bridgewater. Any chance of that happening? #jagsmail— Archer (@TheActualArcher) October 13, 2017
@ESPNdirocco: The Jaguars trading for a quarterback by the Oct. 31 deadline seemed to take on a life of its own this week despite the fact there has been no indication the Jaguars are even exploring the possibility. I liken it to what happened last offseason, when everyone expected the Jaguars to add a quarterback in free agency or the draft. At no point since the 2016 season ended did anyone with the Jaguars say the team wanted to bring in another quarterback. We just assumed it would happen because of how poorly Blake Bortles played last season.
So while trading for Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Brees is fun to talk about, the likelihood of the Jaguars trading for any of those players in the next few weeks -- or any veteran quarterback who could step in as the starter -- is highly unlikely. I've learned never to rule anything out completely, but the chances are very small it would happen, and not just because Manning told Newsday that he wants to finish his career with the New York Giants.
Teams aren't just going to give up a quarterback who can still play at a high level for a third-round pick, even if the Jaguars were to throw in RB T.J. Yeldon (this was one of the scenarios thrown out a lot on social media). They're going to want higher picks -- possibly a first- or second-round pick in multiple years -- and the Jaguars are not willing to part with those. The team needs help at multiple positions (tight end, receiver, linebacker, possibly another interior lineman or right tackle) and losing multiple draft picks will hamstring their ability to fix those areas. You can't address them all in free agency.
There's also this: If the Giants and Saints don't want to part with their quarterbacks, and there has been no indication or reports that they are, then there's no possibility of a trade. Unless the Jaguars make some ridiculous offer, which would be irresponsible.
As for Bridgewater, nobody knows for sure when he'll be able to return to practice. He is scheduled to see the surgeon who repaired his knee on Monday, but he hasn't taken a snap in practice since he suffered major knee damage on Aug. 30, 2016. Plus, the Jaguars didn't like Bridgewater that much in 2014, either.
The most likely scenario for the Jaguars: They'll tough out 2017 with Bortles in a winnable division and then figure out what to do at the position in 2018 when there will be options in free agency (Kirk Cousins, Brees, Sam Bradford, and Jimmy Garoppolo, for example) and the draft.