Over the past day or so, there’s been a little bit of chatter about returning quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater and a potential trade out of New York.
Should the Chargers be looking at bringing in the former Viking?
Let’s start by looking the man himself.
Through two preseason contests Bridgewater has thrown 17 completions on 23 throws for 212 yards, which is a very healthy 73.9% and had two touchdowns to one pick. Not too shabby.
However, more importantly he’s shown good pocket presence, movement and arm strength and is looking confident back on the field after such a long time in the treatment room. Most encouragingly, Bridgewater took two sacks in the recent game versus the Redskins and popped straight back up and played on. After the game, the quarterback told reporters that he actually wanted to get hit, saying;
“I actually wanted to get hit, I don’t know if it’s the right thing to say or do as a QB, but for me it’s just continuing to knock down that mental block. I could have thrown the ball away or ran out of bounds, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could take a hit. It was fun.”
This shows a willingness to comeback and continue to play in the league and a huge amount of mental strength, which is think is a huge positive for Teddy as a player and a person.
Now let’s consider the quarterback rooms of both teams.
I think the Jets QB situation is interesting and with Bridgewater playing well and showing no ill effects of his horrendous knee injury, this is exactly the situation they would have been hoping for when they signed him.
Josh McCown is a serviceable backup, even at the age of 39 and could step in for a few spot starts and they have a potential future face of the franchise in Sam Darnold. They’ll want to develop Darnold and get him in the line up as soon as he’s ready since he’s got the highest ceiling of any QB that they have, plus there’s the factor of the fan base. Jets fans will want to see their possible saviour playing as opposed to a reclamation project.
This could leave Bridgewater is a sort of no man’s land on his $6m, one year deal. The likelihood is that the Jets aren’t going to renew his deal unless Darnold is a train wreck, which doesn’t appear to be the case and since Bridgewater is looking good his trade value is moving toward its peak.
Moving out west to Los Angeles.
There’s currently a camp battle between Geno Smith and Cardale Jones for the QB2 position behind Philip Rivers.
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To me as a fan, Geno Smith has been much more impressive so far in pre season; he’s been less erratic and has seemed much more comfortable on the field. Which doesn’t say a lot for Jones since he’s been with the Chargers for a year and should, in theory at least, be further along than Smith.
Smith does have the advantage of having 31 career starts under his belt, which is why the Chargers brought him in to compete with Jones.
However, Smith has never completely mastered the art of being a starting calibre quarterback in the NFL and at his point looks like he’s going to be a backup for the rest of his career, although he would be a high end back up.
Let’s fast forward a couple of weeks and let’s say Smith wins the job for L.A., why would they consider trading for Bridgewater?
Well, for one, he’s a better player than both Geno Smith and Cardale Jones. The only string attached to that is his health, however he did of course pass a physical in order to sign for the Jets and as previously mentioned, he’s looking good on the field.
Additionally, Bridgewater has a much higher ceiling than either of the Bolts current backups. He’s a former Rookie of the Year and still only 25 years of age. Philip Rivers is going to play for another couple of years at least but will obviously need replacing at some point.
The other method of replacing Rivers would be the draft but the way the Chargers are trending, they shouldn’t be picking near the top of the first round any time soon, which immediately takes them out of the running for elite QB prospects barring a huge trade up, which really isn’t Tom Telesco’s style.
So why not flip the Jets a early to mid round pick and let Bridgewater marinate behind one of the smartest minds in the game for a couple of years? He not guaranteed take over the reins from Rivers after that but he’s got more chance than Smith, Jones and most other mid round QB’s coming out of college. Whilst Rivers is still the starter the Chargers would also have one of, if not the best QB2 in the league.
Contractually, yes, Teddy would be more expensive and the Chargers aren’t awash with cap space but when working out a longer deal, they could leverage Bridgewater’s injury history against him to get a discount and Tom Telesco does seem to have the knack of getting good players at very fair rates.
To me, it sounds like something worth considering at the very least…
– Lee Wakefield is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @Wakefield90
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