The Panthers and Bridgewater have agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Once teams can announce signings with unrestricted free agents Wednesday, the Panthers will officially have moved on from Cam Newton (foot). Bridgewater himself fared well in six extensive outings (five starts) in placed of an injured Drew Brees last season, completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,370 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions during that stretch. In Carolina, Bridgewater will reunite with new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was on the Saints' staff in 2017-18. The QB will also have perhaps the most versatile running back in the NFL (Christian McCaffrey) at his disposal, along with a pair of intriguing young wide receivers (D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel).
The Panthers and Bridgewater are reportedly working toward a three-year deal thought to be in the $60 million range, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports. Mortensen notes that the deal "is not done as they work out details but it is expected to be complete when (the) new league year opens Wednesday." Assuming the anticipated signing happens, Bridgewater would be in line to take over the Panthers' starting QB job, with the team poised to move on from Cam Newton.
Bridgewater is expected to have a strong market for his services as an unrestricted free agent this spring, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. With Drew Brees coming back for another season and Taysom Hill still under contract, Bridgewater figures to leave New Orleans for a shot at a starting job. He won each of his five starts in 2019, completing 69.7 percent of passes for 7.3 yards per attempt in those games, with just nine sacks, two interceptions and no fumbles. The one negative for Bridgewater is a crowded market for free-agent QBs, including Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jameis Winston.
Bridgewater averaged 241.0 passing yards per game while completing 69.7 percent of his passes and throwing nine touchdowns to just two interceptions in five starts in 2019. He filled in admirably for Drew Brees as the Saints' starter from Weeks 3-7, leading the team to a perfect record in that span while playing quality football. Bridgewater will be a free agent in 2020 after two seasons with New Orleans, though Drew Brees and Taysom Hill will be in the same boat, creating an interesting dilemma. The Saints spent a third-round pick to acquire Bridgewater from the Jets in 2018, though his future with the organization is yet unknown.
Bridgewater, who was starting in place of Drew Brees (thumb), will revert to his backup role with the news that the 40-year-old quarterback will play Sunday, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports. Bridgewater was impressive during his five-game stint as the starter, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes while posting a respectable 9:2 TD:INT ratio since taking over for the injured Brees. Still, it was never in doubt the Saints' legend would return as the starting signal caller once he was deemed healthy enough to compete, something the team and Brees confirmed Saturday following a week of practice participation. Bridgewater very well might have played his way into a starting role for another team in the near future, but until that point he'll continue to be one of the league's best backups.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|2||09/20||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|3||09/27||@Los Angeles Chargers||8||15.63|
|7||10/25||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.18|
|9||11/08||@Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|10||11/15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|15||12/20||@Green Bay Packers||3||14.33|
|17||01/03||New Orleans Saints||20||20.18|
|3 Year Avg||66.2||501||3||1||11||0||37|