Immediately after news broke that Carolina had pulled off a blockbuster trade for Darnold, reports surfaced that the Panthers were going to look to move off Bridgewater. That could come via trade or release.
We’re now hearing more information on this courtesy of NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The insider notes that multiple teams have shown interest in Teddy Bridgewater as a high-value backup quarterback option. Meanwhile, the former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick is reportedly willing to lower his guaranteed cash to $10 million in order to help facilitate a trade.
Teddy Bridgewater contract and potential hiccups to a trade
Bridgewater, 28, is playing under a three-year, $63 million contract he signed with the Panthers last offseason. He’s slated to count $22.91 million against the cap in 2021, about $18 million of which an acquiring team would be on the hook for.
Right now, that’s just not sustainable given the economic landscape around the league after the first couple tiers of NFL free agency. In fact, only nine teams around the NFL have enough cap room right now to bring in said salary. This is also why Bridgewater is willing to lower his figure to help facilitate a trade.
Even then, a $10 million cap hit for a backup quarterback in 2021 doesn’t make sense for a vast majority of the teams out there. Among those linked to Teddy Bridgewater, the Denver Broncos have roughly $29 million in cap room. That excludes the rookie pool.
The San Francisco 49ers have about $18.44 million in cap room. They have also been linked to Bridgewater this offseason. However, the Jimmy Garoppolo situation would have to play out before general manager John Lynch could even consider a move. This points to the complexities when it comes to the Panthers finding a trade partner.
Teddy Bridgewater stats don’t help, either
There’s a reason Carolina opted to move off Bridgewater in favor of another struggling quarterback. He just wasn’t good last season.
The former Louisville standout threw a mere 15 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 15 starts en route to leading the Panthers to an average of 21.9 points per game. Those are not starter-caliber numbers. Hence, why he’s being considered a backup right now.
It’s clear that the Panthers want to see this situation settled here over the next couple weeks. They’d love to get a mid-to-late round pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft for Teddy Bridgewater.
That just might not be in the cards unless the quarterback lowers his 2021 salary even more. The market dynamic is not great for Bridgewater. His lack of previous success coupled with a bad contract adds another layer to this, too.
It’s certainly something to keep an eye on leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft later in April.