Lions Urged to Shop QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

Getty The Detroit Lions are being encouraged to shop quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the New York Jets.

Even with two injured quarterbacks, the Detroit Lions appear to have depth behind center. After Week 1, they could use that to their advantage to gain more draft capital next year.

The New York Jets will be without future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the rest of the season after Rodgers suffered an Achilles tendon tear in Week 1. Still considered contenders because of their playmakers and defense, the Jets could potentially pursue a veteran quarterback to take Rodgers’ place.

SB Nation’s Jeremy Reisman argued that the Lions should take advantage of the situation and offer Bridgewater to the Jets for significant draft capital.

“Detroit may not want to part with Bridgewater to protect their own quarterback depth, but at the same time, flipping him for a draft pick to a desperate team makes some sense,” Reisman wrote. “It’s an easy way to pick up draft capital, and the Lions have both David Blough on the practice squad and rookie Hendon Hooker nearing a return from his injury.

“They wouldn’t be completely lost without Bridgewater if Jared Goff went down.”

Bridgewater was once involved in a similar situation but in the opposite role. As the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater sustained a torn ACL and other structural damage to his knee late in the preseason before the 2016 season.

That led to the Vikings trading first-round and fourth-round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford.

Could the Jets Target QB Teddy Bridgewater in a Trade?

It’s highly unlikely that the Jets will be willing to give up a first-round pick for Bridgewater.

When the Vikings traded for Bradford, he was still a 28-year-old starting quarterback. At the time, Bridgewater’s injury was significant enough that the Vikings likely believed he wouldn’t be ready for the following season either.

So, Bradford was a two-year or possibly longer solution.

Bridgewater turns 31 in November. Judging by the fact that he remained unsigned at the start of the preseason, no NFL team views him as anything more than a solid backup at this point in his career.

Reisman noted that Bridgewater has experience replacing a legendary quarterback. In 2019, he started for an injured Drew Brees and led the New Orleans Saints to a 5-0 record.

But that was four years ago. Since then, Bridgewater is 11-20 as a starter. He went 0-2 as a backup quarterback last season with the Miami Dolphins.

Bridgewater is 33-32 in his career as a starter. But he’s only posted a winning record in two of his eight NFL seasons.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Jets won’t be interested in acquiring Bridgewater for a lower price. While the Lions very likely prefer the depth he provides, if the price is high enough, they could entertain the possibility of shipping the veteran quarterback to New York.

On September 12, Jets head coach Robert Saleh stood by Zach Wilson as the team’s new starting quarterback. But Resiman argued that could only be temporary.

“It’s easy to say that now after an emotional win,” Reisman wrote. “But if Wilson continues to struggle and the losses mount? He could—and probably should—change his mind.”

Lions QB Depth Chart Behind Bridgewater

Quarterback depth is the other factor. Whether the Lions ultimately decide to shop Bridgewater to the Jets will greatly depend on how they feel about David Blough and Hendon Hooker.

Detroit drafted Hooker in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft. So not only should the organization be confident in Hooker’s ability to be a backup, it’s possible he could challenge Goff for playing time down the road.

In May, head coach Dan Campbell expressed the idea that 2023 would be “a redshirt” year for Hooker. The rookie quarterback is still recovering from an ACL tear and began the season on the non-football injury list.

But The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett reported on August 21 that the Lions plan on having the rookie on the 53-man roster at some point in 2023.

That could make Bridgewater expendable. When Hooker will be healthy enough to join the roster, though, is uncertain.

This is how Blough could also impact whether the Lions shop Bridgewater. If Detroit must offer Bridgewater to the Jets right away, Blough could serve as the backup to Goff until Hooker is ready.

Or, the Lions could wait and see if losses do mount for the Jets. That could lead to New York becoming more desperate to find a different quarterback other than Wilson. That could also keep Bridgewater in Detroit until Hooker recovers.

It’s a complicated situation with many moving parts. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Lions trade Bridgewater to the Jets before the NFL trade deadline.

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Jim Heidenfelder
Jim Heidenfelder
13 days ago

C’ on, really? Hooker hasn’t taken a snap yet in the NFL, not to mention we don’t know how close he is to playing…reports say he’s red-shirted this year. Jeez, you don’t remember watching David Blough play? If Goff goes down and Blough is the next man up, this season is done! No way do I believe Lions will part with Teddy this year.