With future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees taking time out of his Hawaii vacation to announce his intentions of returning to the New Orleans Saints for the 2020 NFL season, the likelihood of Teddy Bridgewater sticking around town has decreased drastically.
Bridgewater, who could reportedly land a contract worth around $30 million per year according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, is bound to have numerous suitors in free agency.
Below, we examine the top-five landing spots for Bridgewater.
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Top-5 Landing Spots for Teddy Bridgewater
On the Cusp: Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints
While the Raiders are intriguing, can we say with certainty that Bridgewater is better than Derek Carr at the moment? For all the flack he receives, Carr completed over 70% of his passes and recorded a 100.8 passer rating while throwing to a bunch of roster bubble type talents in 2019.
In terms of returning to New Orleans, It’s boring, and it likely won’t happen, mainly because the Saints are fairly strapped for cash. However, it still makes the most sense. Yes, Brees is returning in 2020, but the likelihood of him playing past that is still very bleak. Bridgewater was seemingly being groomed to be Brees heir apparent at one point, a one year buffer shouldn’t detour those plans.
- 5) Carolina Panthers
There’s a new coach in town in Carolina, taking over a team with a quarterback who may be damaged goods. Still, they come in last on our destinations for Bridgewater because if he’s deemed healthy I believe Cam is still the guy to be under center for Matt Rhule’s inaugural season with the Panthers.
Bridgewater’s efficiency would be a welcomed change from Cam’s at times erratic accuracy. Also, players with run after the catch abilities like Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, and Curtis Samuel play perfectly into Bridgewater’s skill set of short-to-intermediate passing.
4) Chicago Bears
The Bears may be the most enticing team on this list from Bridgewater’s perspective. It’s difficult to jump ship from a perennial Super Bowl contender to a bottom-dwelling NFL franchise. While some of these teams mentioned have not sniffed a legitimate playoff run in years, the Bears are just one season removed from a 12-4 record.
Chicago would be able to lean heavily on their defense, allowing Bridgewater to play within his skillset. David Montgomery should improve in his second season as the team’s lead back. While Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller offer a viable receiving corp with intriguing upside.
Chicago would have been right back in the thick of the playoff race this past year were it not for a few too many Mitchell Trubisky miscues.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is may very well be the most exciting fit on the list. Not many quarterbacks would pass up the opportunity to throw to the likes of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, maybe even OJ Howard to a lesser degree. Many would also jump at the opportunity to work alongside QB-guru Bruce Arians.
The Buccaneers are a quarterback away from being a legitimate threat in the NFC. Jameis Winston led them to seven wins a season ago, however, he also led them to nine losses a season ago, emphasis on led.
Over Bridgewater’s five-year playing career, his 25 interceptions are five less than Winston recorded in 2019 alone.
The Bucs, like the majority of the teams on our list, are rich in spending money, owning nearly $80M of cap space heading into the offseason.
2) Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are not sold on Jacoby Brissett, evident by the comments heard around the world via the team’s GM Chris Ballard who stated that the “jury is still out” on the starting quarterback from 2019.
Many have been connecting the Colts to Philip Rivers, including his former teammates. However, they may be best off opting for the younger option in Bridgewater. Teddy B seems like a great fit for the Colts run-heavy, tight end oriented offensive scheme, which is eerily similar to the one he ran in Minnesota.
Yet, the most exciting aspect of this match is the protection that Bridgewater would have. We’re all aware of the QB’s past injury history and while he’s recently proven capable of staying healthy in limited action, Pro Football Focus’ third-ranked offensive line unit from 2019 certainly won’t hurt.
Indianapolis is also projected to have the second-most cap space in football come this offseason, and would be able to add some offensive weapons to the fold.
1) Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers may have won just five games in 2019, but they arguably present the most talent from a skill position level than any other team mentioned on this list (excluding the Saints).
In terms of receiving options, they are endless. Hunter Henry is a top-seven tight end in football. Keenan Allen continues to be undervalued nationally, yet continues to produce. While Mike Williams is fresh off his first career 1,000 yard receiving season. Plus, let’s not forget running back Austin Ekeler, whose 92 receptions in 2019 were second to only Christian McCaffrey amongst all running backs.
Defensively, the book-end duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III will continue to get after opposing quarterbacks, while a healthy Derwin James will wreak havoc on the back end.
On top of that, the Bolts would be able to build around Bridgewater, holding the sixth-overall pick in the draft and more than $49M in cap space.