The Saints signed Bridgewater on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Bridgewater considered a contract offer from the Dolphins, which would have included a chance to start in 2019. In the end, though, he's returning to the Saints and the potential to be Drew Brees' heir apparent. There's no telling how much tread Brees has left on his tires, but Bridgewater again will act as his primary backup.
Bridgewater could renege on his commitment to re-sign with the Saints, as the quarterback is still weighing a contract offer from the Dolphins, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports. Bridgewater may be having second thoughts about returning to New Orleans for another season with no chance of earning a starting job. The Dolphins wouldn't be able to put much talent around Bridgewater, but they could at least promise a quarterback competition this summer. It's also quite possible the final decision simply comes down to money. Coach Sean Payton has dropped multiple hints that he views Bridgewater as the eventual replacement for Drew Brees.
Bridgewater plans to re-sign with the Saints, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports. Bridgewater reportedly turned down a larger contract from Miami, preferring to stay in New Orleans, where he may eventually have a chance to replace Drew Brees as the starting quarterback. The 26-year-old struggled when he finally got on the field Week 17 this past season, playing alongside other backups in a 33-14 loss to the Panthers. There's no guarantee Bridgewater ever gets his shot as the starter in New Orleans, as the 40-year-old Brees just posted the best passer rating (115.7) of his 18-year career.
Bridgewater connected on 14 of 22 passes for 118 yards, a touchdown, and an interception during Sunday's 33-14 loss to the Panthers. He added 12 yards on four carries. Bridgewater hadn't completed a pass since 2015 and had attempted just three in regular-season action since then, so some rust was to be expected. Still, it was a feel-good story to see him loft a nine-yard touchdown to Tre'Quan Smith early in the fourth quarter, the game already well under control. The feel-goodery probably ends there. If all goes to plan for New Orleans, Sunday will have featured Bridgewater's last meaningful snaps of the season.
Bridgewater will start Sunday's game against the Panthers, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Coach Sean Payton made the announcement Friday afternoon, confirming Drew Brees won't play again until the divisional round of the playoffs. Making his first start since the end of the 2015 season, Bridgewater has an excellent opportunity to improve his value before his one-year contract expires. Of course, he'll probably spend much of the game playing with other backups, with Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram unlikely to handle their usual workloads if they even play at all.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||@Los Angeles Rams||17||19.63|
|5||10/06||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||30||23.13|
|11||11/17||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||30||23.13|
|14||12/08||San Francisco 49ers||29||22.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58.3||59||0||1||1||0||0|