Bridgewater (knee) will open training camp behind just Josh McCown (hand) on the depth chart, Eric Allen of the Jets' official site reports. Bridgewater last saw significant playing time during the 2015 season, notching 3,231 yards and a 14:9 TD:INT ratio as the Vikings' starting signal-caller. A devastating knee injury essentially robbed him of two seasons, but he will get another crack at a starting job in New York during 2018. Bridgewater has reportedly impressed early in offseason workouts and should remain in the mix during training camp, but the presence of third overall pick Sam Darnold on the roster likely limits his future upside.
Bridgewater (knee) has been a standout performer during the first week of OTAs, ESPN's Rich Cimini reports. The most important takeaway here is that the left knee Bridgewater had surgically repaired back in September of 2016 is no longer bothering him. New York is still hoping that third overall pick Sam Darnold will show enough readiness for the NFL to start right away, but Bridgewater could certainly beat out 38-year-old incumbent Josh McCown if Darnold needs more seasoning. Don't expect this quarterback battle to be settled until preseason at the earliest.
General manager Mike Maccagnan said Bridgewater (knee) is healthy and was able to throw passes Tuesday at the start of Phase 2 of the Jets' offseason program, Rich Cimini of ESPN reports. It was reported at the end of March there was a chance Bridgewater wouldn't be able to take part in the team's offseason program, though the fifth-year quarterback was able to make enough progress in his recovery to get back on the field for some throwing drills. The exact level of his participation is still somewhat unclear, but it's an encouraging sign for Bridgewater nonetheless. While he's apparently on track to be at full strength in the near future, the Jets did add Sam Darnold during the recent 2018 NFL Draft, to go along with holdover Josh McCown (hand), which means Bridgewater will likely be stuck fighting for the No. 3 job.
General manager Mike Maccagnan confirmed Monday that Bridgewater (knee) may not be a participant in the offseason program, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports. "That injury may take some time to fully recover from," Maccagnan said. "If all things go well, you guys will have a chance to see him out there to throw this spring." Maccagnan referenced the "risk-reward" of a signing like Bridgewater, who has taken just nine in-game snaps since tearing the ACL and dislocating the kneecap in his left knee on Aug. 30, 2016. The Jets are hopeful that the program set up by their training staff will help Bridgewater return to the level of play he exhibited in 2014 and 2015, when he averaged 7.24 yards per attempt, posted 28 touchdowns versus 21 interceptions and averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 29 appearances. As the offseason continues, the team will trust in veteran Josh McCown under center, with the potential addition of a QB in the draft threatening the roster spots of Bridgewater, who is guaranteed just $500,000 on his one-year deal, as well as 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty and 2016 second-round selection Christian Hackenberg.
Bridgewater's one-year contract with the Jets includes only $500,000 guaranteed, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports. Initially reported as a $15 million deal, Bridgewater's contract has sounded weaker and weaker as more of the details have become public. He'll collect a $500,000 signing bonus and a $500,000 workout bonus this offseason, but the rest of his money comes in the form of a non-guaranteed $5 million base salary and $9 million worth of incentives. With incumbent starter Josh McCown re-signed and the Jets recently trading up for the No. 3 overall pick with their eyes (presumably) on a young quarterback, it isn't hard to imagine a scenario in which Bridgewater is traded or released before Week 1. He may have accepted the unusual contract for that very reason, hoping the Jets will allow him to go elsewhere if McCown gets the starting job and an early draft pick appears ready for the backup gig (or vice versa). The contract structure is risky from a financial perspective, but it does improve Bridgewater's odds of getting on the field in 2018, be it for the Jets or another team.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|12||11/25||New England Patriots||30||21.53|
|16||12/23||Green Bay Packers||31||22.06|
|17||12/30||@New England Patriots||30||21.53|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||64.7||1077||5||3||63||1||80|