NFL

3 Potential Landing Spots for Teddy Bridgewater

     Teddy Bridgewater came out of college in the 2014 NFL draft and was one of the most exciting young prospects in the NFL during his rookie and sophomore season. Teddy Bridgewater seemed to be the answer for the Vikings at QB for a long time. Bridgewater had put up 2,919 yards and 14 TD’s in his rookie season along with respectable 64.4% completion percentage in 13 games. This performance had Teddy finishing with the third-highest completion percentage for a rookie in NFL history as well as the seventh-highest quarterback rating. In his sophomore season, Teddy had improved more, putting up 3,231 yards and 14 TD’s en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, during an August 2016 practice, Teddy had dropped back, planted his foot in an awkward way and ended up dislocating his knee while also tearing his ACL, ending his 2016 season before it had even began. This was terrible news that had been spread around the league, with NFL superstars from all different teams wishing Teddy a speedy recovery. Bridgewater was cleared to return back to Vikings practice in October of 2017. Teddy had returned to a unique and tough quarterback situation in Minnesota. Case Keenum had been starting and playing very well while Sam Bradford was the backup for the QB with the newly discovered while Teddy Bridgewater hadn’t played a down of football in over a year. Teddy got into one game for one drive where he went 0/2 and threw an interception. The Vikings were one of the most exciting teams in the 2017 season with a big part of that excitement coming from the quarterback position and the questions of where each quarterback would land in the off-season. During the off-season, Case Keenum signed with the Broncos, Sam Bradford signed with the Cardinals and Teddy Bridgewater signed with the Jets to battle for the starting job against the vet Josh McCown who had just come off of his best season in his career at age 39. In the NFL draft the Jets picked quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the first round, adding another talent in the QB competition, making it even harder for Teddy  Bridgewater to reach the number one spot for week one. It seems Teddy Bridgewater is stuck in a similar situation as he was in Minnesota, where there are three talented QB’s in the running for starting QB week one.

     A week or so prior to the first preseason games, the Jets placed Teddy Bridgewater on  the trade block and is still currently on the Jets. This past Friday, the Jets played against the Falcons in their first preseason matchup where Teddy Bridgewater got the start where he threw for 85 yards and a touchdown on 7 for 8 passing. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t play for too long, but his performance definitely supports his case for the starting spot on week 1 as well as it showcased that he still has immense talent and potential to other teams. Now, this  is only preseason so you have to take into account that preseason is not even close to the level of the regular season and playoffs. Teams are playing their 2nd and 3rd string lines to see who can be a standout and potentially earn themselves a roster spot. Although it is only preseason it was very exciting to see a young QB return from a long injury and play well. With Teddy being on the trade block and teams needing better options at QB, here are some potential landing spots that I believe would be beneficial for both Teddy and each respective franchise.

1. Los Angeles Chargers
     As Philip Rivers is at the tail-end of his impressive career, it seems that the Chargers have begun to put together a talented and young defensive core including Joey Bosa and Derwin James, among others. This signifies that change has begun in the organization and as older players retire, get traded away, etc. new and younger players are to be brought in. I think Teddy Bridgewater would be a great addition to the Chargers QB depth as the only other QB’s on the depth chart (excluding Philip Rivers) are Cardale Jones and Geno Smith. Both of which had shown promise in their careers thus far, but, have also proven to be inconsistent and would most likely not be the best choice for the starting job and be the QB of the future for the Chargers. Teddy Bridgewater would have dependable and solid targets in this new environment,  such as Keenan Allen, who exploded in the 2017 season following an injury in his 2016 season. Allen put up 1,393 yards and 6 touchdowns on his way to the Pro Bowl. There is also Mike Williams, who was the Chargers first round pick from the 2017 draft, and Travis Benjamin, who put up 567 yards and 4 touchdowns on 64 targets in the 2017 season.

2. Miami Dolphins
     The Miami Dolphins are in (arguably) one of the worst divisions in the NFL and still manage to be in last or second to last every year. Most of this can be attributed to the QB position with Ryan Tannehill being an average NFL QB and last year being injured, the Dolphins had to bring in other less than great QB options to command their offense. I think Teddy Bridgewater would be a solid fit here because he’d have some options at the wide receiver position and although the Dolphins front office may not be willing to let Ryan Tannehill leave the starting QB position and most fans would be upset, I think it would be a good move for the organization in the long run. Teddy Bridgewater could act as a good bridge QB options for if/when the Dolphins draft a QB in a future draft, or he could progress even more and become the future franchise QB for the Dolphins.

3. New York Giants
     Everyone knows that Eli Manning is on his way out of New York as he is 37 years old and he’s not as great as he was back in his prime. The Giants had a poor showing in the 2017 season as they ended the season with a 3-13 record. Although the losing cannot be placed on Eli as his starting 3 targets went down with an injury early in the season and he didn’t have really any help from his o-line. But, the Giants are certainly in search of a promising QB to take Eli’s spot once he leaves. The Giants drafted Kyle Lauletta out of Richmond in the fourth round of the NFL draft this year as an obvious attempt at finding a new franchise QB. Teddy Bridgewater could serve as bridge QB or he could be signed in order to motivate Lauletta to go harder in order to win the starting spot. Not to mention, it would be amazing to see Teddy Bridgewater connecting with OBJ and Evan Engram.

     These are just a few of the good spots for Teddy Bridgewater to land if he is traded, but, of course he could always stay with the Jets and take the starting job as his preseason performance gives him a good chance at it. I believe Teddy Bridgewater had the potential to be a part of the new wave of young, elite QB’s in the NFL such as Marcus Mariota, Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. To actually be considered as high as one of the players formerly mentioned, he first needs to find a good, permanent situation on an NFL team.

Sources:
https://nypost.com/2018/08/11/teddy-bridgewaters-jets-debut-couldnt-have-gone-better/
http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/17424174/teddy-bridgewater-suffers-serious-knee-injury-minnesota-vikings-practice
https://sportingsota.com/2014/12/29/putting-bridgewaters-rookie-year-historical-perspective/
http://www.nfl.com/player/teddybridgewater/2543465/careerstats

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