Ranking all 32 teams based on whether they should do a Teddy Bridgewater trade
Where in the world could Teddy Bridgewater land?
The Jets aren't playing any games: . They love what Bridgewater is doing in New York and having three quality quarterbacks -- Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Josh McCown -- is a great problem to have. But Darnold is the long-term future in New York and Teddy's on a prove-it, one-year deal.
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Starting Bridgewater in Week 1 is an option, but ultimately he will walk away after the 2018 season, with the Jets receiving, at best, a third-round compensatory pick. Everything has to click in free agency for the pick to be that high, and it would not come until the 2020 NFL Draft anyway. It makes infinitely more sense to secure a second- or third-round pick now, if the Jets can land that.
Problem is, everyone has invested in a quarterback recently; good luck finding a quarterback-desperate team in the NFL these days. There's too many useful quarterbacks! Still, someone will be willing to part with decent capital for Bridgewater, NFL team on whether they should trade for Bridgewater, from least likely to most likely., let's rank every single
The best news for Bridgewater? Foles would eventually win Super Bowl MVP after appearing on a list like this. To the listicle machine!
32. New York Jets
This would be incredible wouldn't it? "Hey Big Mac?" "Yeah who's this?" "Big Mac." "Hey you handsome devil, what's going on?" "I want the Bridgewater kid." "Talk to me." "I'll give you every first-round pick I have between 2019 and 2025." "DEAL."
Now just imagine Todd Bowles' face when he walks in and his boss is trading Teddy Bridgewater to himself.
31. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had multiple shots at retaining Bridgewater and clearly didn't think their former first-round pick was worth holding onto.
30. Cleveland Browns
Can't believe we're here, but the reality is the Browns are pretty good at QB in terms of depth, having both Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield already on the roster. They wouldn't bring in someone else to compete with the young guy.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Sticking in the AFC North for a minute, Baltimore wouldn't make much sense either. They have Joe Flacco, even for just one more year, and then have Lamar Jackson. Teddy was available for free, before the draft.
28. Indianapolis Colts
Chris Ballard has his own underrated backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett that could be worthy of his own "who should trade for him?" power rankings. Andrew Luck looks healthy, so the Colts aren't in the trade for a QB biz.
27. Arizona Cardinals
Yeah, what the Cards need is another wiry, accurate quarterback with an injury history to play behind their offensive line.
26. Chicago Bears
25. Philadelphia Eagles
If Foles' shoulder injury had been more serious, the Eagles would be near the top of this list. Howie Roseman has shown how much he values depth at the quarterback position and Carson Wentz is still returning from an ACL injury that may or may not keep him from being able to start Week 1. Foles is already back at practice, though, so the Eagles are a longshot here. (Ironic aside: Roseman is the guy who instigated this list in the first place, by trading Sam Bradford to the Vikings when Teddy blew up his knee.)
24. Detroit Lions
Maybe the Lions should be higher, too? They have Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock there and Matt Patricia comes from a place (New England) where they constantly made sure to churn the backup quarterback position. I don't know. The Lions just don't feel like a "if Matthew Stafford goes down our Super Bowl window slams shut" team somehow.
23. San Francisco 49ers
Now we're hitting a stretch of teams where there's an established, surefire starter who was either drafted high recently or paid. And while Jimmy Garoppolo going down would be a disaster, Kyle Shanahan's expressed confidence in C.J. Beathard.
22. Buffalo Bills
Should the Bills be higher? PROBABLY. But as Pete Prisco keeps reminding everyone, Josh Allen has looked good in the preseason. Also, Buffalo waited and waited and waited to get involved in the free agent quarterback market before landing AJ McCarron. McCarron is knocked out for a while, but with Allen looking good and Nathan Peterman on the roster it feels like the Bills will stand pat. This would be the best-case scenario for the Jets: steal a future asset from a division rival who won't be any good, but also why the Bills won't do the deal.
21. Atlanta Falcons
Trusting the offense to Matt Schaub would be a problem for Atlanta's Super Bowl hopes, but the Falcons value their draft picks too much to make this move and Matt Ryan has been the picture of health in his career. (I probably jinxed him, sorry, Falcons fans.)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger, not the picture of health. He's missed games and gets banged up. Teddy would give Pittsburgh a pretty good option. But the Steelers have been content to roll with Landry Jones in recent years and just drafted Mason Rudolph to take Ben's place when he retires. It's impossible to see them giving up a pick.
19. New England Patriots
Perhaps the least likely team to pull off a trade because the Jets and Patriots don't trade, New England could eventually be a landing spot for Bridgewater, perhaps next offseason. But the Patriots have Brian Hoyer right now, and even if he's not going to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside if something happens to Tom Brady, he's capable. They've nearly made the playoffs with less.
18. Kansas City Chiefs
Is this rendition of Andy Reid's team a contender? I certainly think so, and might even be picking them to win their division (at the very least I like the value of Reid being an underdog to win his division). But if something happens to Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne and Matt McGloin would be the backup options. That's sub-optimal. I don't see them making this move per se, but Bridgewater would fit the Alex Smith mold a little bit and Reid traded two picks for him not that long ago.
17. Washington Redskins
They already traded for one quarterback this offseason, acquiring Alex Smith from the Chiefs in a stunner of a trade. And while Colt McCoy isn't the greatest backup option, he knows Jay Gruden's system and is capable of stepping in if something happens to Smith. The Redskins feel more like they're in limbo than a team willing to shove in for a backup quarterback anyway.
16. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys know all about the importance of having a backup you trust: when Tony Romo went down two years ago, they simply turned to Dak Prescott. Oh wait, that's right. They didn't know how good Prescott was and actually wanted to end up with Paxton Lynch during the 2016 NFL Draft. Weird how that stuff works out. Either way, they like Cooper Rush and probably aren't making a move for another backup at this time.
15. Oakland Raiders
A very difficult team to place, because they have a franchise quarterback (Derek Carr) in theory but also a serious interest in winning with the addition of Jon Gruden at the low, low cost of $100 million over 10 years. They already parted with a third-round pick to land Martavis Bryant. Bridgewater isn't as exciting, but he would keep Connor Cook or EJ Manuel from seeing meaningful minutes if Carr suffered another injury. !
14. Los Angeles Chargers
There's a window here for L.A. to finally make some noise and they are the favorites to win the division. Philip Rivers might be the least likely quarterback to miss significant time -- he did play in a playoff game without a frigging torn ACL. And this team, um, has Geno Smith and Cardale Jones. Hmm. I think we're entering the stretch of teams who can win a Super Bowl but wouldn't be able to without their starting quarterback.
13. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are absolutely a Super Bowl contender, but are they really going to bank on Tom Savage and Taysom Hill to fill in for Drew Brees if their Hall of Fame quarterback goes down? Apparently! Like with the Chargers, Bridgewater would give them a nice insurance plan, although, like with the Chargers, if the starting QB goes down the ship might go down with it.
12. Seattle Seahawks
I'm not yet at the stage of refusing to believe the Seahawks can compete like a lot of people. I watched Russell Wilson bombing deep balls to random dudes on Saturday night. They can win games with him. But without him? Woof. Maybe the defense is better, but Alex McGough isn't going to take the Seahawks to the promised land. Bridgewater would be an interesting fit here, but the Seahawks are short on draft picks.
11. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton's another guy who hasn't been the picture of health in his career, either. And Derek Anderson is no longer there to bail him out. All that stands behind the Panthers and a high draft pick is Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke. Both guys have looked pretty good, but there's no way Ron Rivera wants to see them on the field to start a game this year.
10. Green Bay Packers
The wound of Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone and the Packers missing the playoffs as Brett Hundley mangled Mike McCarthy's offensive system is still fresh apparently. With a good offensive line, quality receivers and what should be an improved defense, the Packers are definitely a Super Bowl team with Rodgers. Without him, there's certainly no guarantee of Hundley/DeShone Kizer even getting them to the playoffs. I'd feel confident about Teddy doing it though.
9. Houston Texans
Remember when the Texans were terrible to start the 2017 season, then Deshaun Watson showed up and saved them only to get hurt and watch them crumble again? That reality should be scary for Texans fans, especially with the specter of Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb lingering behind Watson as he returns from a torn ACL. There's a finite window here with J.J. Watt (healthy, we hope), Jadeveon Clowney (final year of his contract) and Whitney Mercilus all together on defense, plus DeAndre Hopkins operating at a level that isn't influenced by whoever is at quarterback. They paid a second-round pick to get rid of Brock Osweiler last year. Surely they would rather pay to bring someone in this time.
8. Tennessee Titans
This could be a window into my own soul and the expectations I have for Tennessee, but given the talent they have on each side of the ball, it seems a shame to let Blaine Gabbert get in the way of what could be a special season. Matt LaFleur's offense should work wonders with Marcus Mariota -- it's his first real, modern NFL offense since he's been drafted! -- but keeping someone on hand who could step up and play at a high level if Mariota goes down wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
7. Cincinnati Bengals
They don't need Bridgewater! They have AJ McCarr-- OH. They don't have their traditional backup anymore. Instead it's Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel in Cincinnati now. The thing that makes this stretch of teams particularly interesting is there are some who are contenders in the now but also teams who might be interested in seeing what Bridgewater offers them for the long haul. That's not to suggest Teddy is better than Andy Dalton, but Dalton counts $16.3 million against the cap next year. It would at least be a discussion, even if the Bengals won't ever do it.
6. New York Giants
Same deal except with backups who possess more upside in Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta. Now, the problematic part is that the Giants and Jets won't ever trade and it would mean the Giants have to do something with their current quarterback depth chart. Additionally, it's hard to imagine the Giants wanting to bring in someone else who might bother Eli Manning as possible competition/someone looming around the facility. Bridgewater would give them another option for the future though.
5. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins looked kind of sharp with Ryan Tannehill running things in a dink-and-dunk system and could be a fairly interesting team this season on offense, with Kenyon Drake and Albert Wilson/Danny Amendola/Kenny Stills/DeVante Parker as explosive, short-yardage weapons. But it all goes out the window if Tannehill goes down and David Fales or Brock Osweiler are forced to play. Again, the Jets probably aren't trading Bridgewater in the division, but he would be a great fit here and could be a long-term solution as well.
4. Denver Broncos
The Case Keenum Era is off to an, ahem, sluggish start. Chad Kelly's getting all the buzz in Denver and Paxton Lynch is relegated to third-string duties and/or likely to miss the final roster. John Elway looks like a guy highly interested in finding a quarterback. The Broncos aren't going to be so bold as to make a move for someone else right now, I would guess, but Bridgewater with those weapons and his skillset could at least give them option 3B or 3C or whatever option they'd be on at this point.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The whole "Jameis Winston is our franchise quarterback" thing is going poorly. He'll be gone for three games and with everyone on the hot seat, they're turning to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick played well for some stretches over the past few years and he's a perfectly capable backup. But with the weapons in Tampa, Bridgewater could do pretty well, and Jason Licht/Dirk Koetter shouldn't flinch at giving up a draft pick if it means getting a guy who could win games/save jobs.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Surprise! The Jaguars aren't No. 1. There are some people who would be offended by Jacksonville even considering this. There are some people who see Bridgewater and Blake Bortles as equals. But Teddy's a better game manager than Bortles, and the Jaguars wouldn't be as scared with him under center. Jacksonville has an all-time defense right now in terms of young talent and high-end veterans coalescing. They added Andrew Norwell to help block for Leonard Fournette. They have a window, but windows are small in the NFL. Bringing in Bridgewater, even as the backup, would give them a break glass in case of emergency option if Bortles falters.
1. Los Angeles Rams
No, the Rams shouldn't be worried about Jared Goff. They should be worried about Sean Mannion. Maybe Mannion is a decent backup, but Bridgewater would give L.A. someone they could plug and play and not worry about skipping too much of a beat if Goff were to go down. Hopefully it won't happen, but the Eagles probably thought the same about Carson Wentz last year, and were quite thrilled to have Foles on hand. The Rams are all in on 2018 and even though they aren't stacked with draft assets, securing a quality backup quarterback should be on Les Snead's checklist before the season starts.
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