Let’s be honest, when we saw Teddy Bridgewater go down with that “horribly grotesque” knee injury, we rightfully questioned whether he would ever return, but against all odds he has.
That is testament to not only the wonderful surgeons and physiotherapists without which Bridgewater wouldn’t be able to walk properly, but also to the mental fortitude and determination of Bridgewater himself. It’s a long and arduous road back from any serious injury, but an ACL tear coupled with an entire knee dislocation takes a special kind of mental fortitude to come back from.
From someone that has suffered several injuries through sports, I know the fear of stepping back on to a field for the first time and expecting every turn or move to end in crippling pain. It’s always there in your mind, questioning your decisions and movements, but we didn’t see much of that in Bridgewater when he took to the field to take on Carolina in Week 17.
Despite being behind a makeshift offensive line and with limited weapons, Bridgewater looked comfortable, putting up 118 yards on 14 completed passes with a touchdown and an interception. Not amazing stats, but this game wasn’t about going out there and putting up enormous numbers to show the game that he’s back, this game wasn’t about going and getting a win; this was Teddy going out there and getting comfortable playing football again, getting back in to the rhythm, just managing the huddle, and seeing the game out. He did that, he did it well, and considering that makeshift offensive line got absolutely mauled, he showed an enormous amount of bottle in the pocket.
So, the question is whether he’s going to get the opportunity to take his ability, his grit, and his determination to a starting spot in the NFL in the near future, and you have to admit that the opportunities are there.
New York Giants
I think the Giants could be a viable landing spot. Eli Manning is old, and despite what they say the Giants will look to move on sooner rather than later.
If the Giants do indeed stick by Manning, I’d expect him to start next season, but as soon as he starts to falter, who can say they wouldn’t love to have someone like Bridgewater to step in and play? He’s certainly an improvement over current second choices Kyle Lauletta and Alex Tanney, and let’s not forget, it feels like Bridgewater has been around forever, but the truth is he’s still only 26 years of age, he’s worked with Pat Shurmer was his offensive co-ordinator in Minnesota!
A Bridgewater and Saquon Barkley backfield next year could be just the ticket, as it’d make sure that Barkley gets a bit more freedom from defensive scheming, and would be an immediate upgrade for all receivers. It wouldn’t exactly cost them the Earth to get him.
The Jags have to move on from Blake Bortles. I know all of the players love him but this team is capable of going places, and they’re not getting anywhere with Bortles in the backfield. Even The Judge on NBC’s The Good Place knows that the Jags aren’t going anywhere with Bortles, noting that the reason they got to the playoffs in the first place is because of the protagonists messing with the universe –
“They’re gonna make the play-offs,” The Judge says. “Blake Bortles is kind of okay, maybe? I don’t know… it’s being… debated amongst experts. It’s confusing. But whatever it is, it’s yo’ fault!”
And it was confusing. He looked kind of okay, maybe he was kind of okay then… but he wasn’t this season, and he’s definitely not good enough to take this stacked team to the next level. Bridgewater is a vast improvement, he’ll be cheap, and he could be the missing piece of the puzzle.
This is just down to the Washington Redskins needing to address every single position on their terrible roster, especially at quarterback.
Alex Smith‘s awful injury will likely keep him out for at least the beginning of the 2019 season, and Teddy Bridgewater would be a perfect replacement in the short term, maybe even for the long term.
It’s not a deep draft class of good rookie QBs this year, and with Washington needing to focus on building a roster, Bridgewater would be a cheap and quality acquisition that would allow them to focus on other areas.
The Dolphins are clearly looking to move on from Ryan Tannehill, and they can do that this year for a 2019 cap hit of $13 million, which with the team being in rebuild mode under new head coach Brian Flores, wouldn’t be a problem.
Let’s be real; the coming season is going to be a tank year. If they plan on getting rid of Tannehill then picking up Bridgewater seems like the most logical thing to do. They could sign him for a couple of years on a reasonably small deal that would allow them to rebuild a strong roster without having to dip in to a weak draft pool and waste a valuable pick on a QB gamble.
A QB battle in Tennessee could be on the cards with Marcus Mariota repeatedly switching between injury and inconsistency. Inconsistency can be sorted out with valid competition and bringing someone like Bridgewater in could really force Mariota to either evolve in to the player we’ve always been promised he could be, or to step aside.
By week one of the season, we could be seeing Bridgewater as the starting quarterback in Tennessee.
Best of the rest
There could be outside bets made on teams like Carolina or Tampa Bay picking him up to replace Cam Newton and Jameis Winston respectively. I don’t see them happening, but Newton is struggling with a persistent shoulder issue, and the jury is out on whether or not he will ever really be able to complete a sixteen game season again. That’s not even mentioning his inaccuracy. Bridgewater would be a great replacement if necessary.
I’m not even going to overcomplicate this one, though: Teddy Bridgewater is a better quarterback than Jameis Winston. It’s just that simple.
Regardless of where he ends up, you can safely bet on the fact that Teddy Bridgewater will be on a roster next season. He’s simply too young and too talented not to be.