This one is not 100% confirmed yet but it sounds like the New York Jets will be signing former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, after missing out on Kirk Cousins. Here a few initial thoughts on the prospective move….
1 – The Jets had to add a veteran quarterback after missing on Cousins and the Bridgewater route (pending financials) was preferential to bringing back 39 year old Josh McCown, overpaying for Case Keenum, AJ McCarron or Sam Bradford or trading a premium pick for Nick Foles. Bridgewater is only 25 years old and still has room to grow and develop if he can stay healthy. This is a “bridge” quarterback that actually comes with his own upside and creates potential insurance if the Jets whiff in the first round.2 – I wrote the following about Bridgewater and the Jets back in January
Bridgewater seems to be fairly popular among Jets fans, who are shy about investing big money in Kirk Cousins and not confident in Mike Maccagnan to draft a quarterback. Yes, Bridgewater would be substantially more affordable than Cousins but you are getting what you pay for and signing Bridgewater by himself is not a sufficient answer to fixing the quarterback position this offseason. He has not played in two full years and was pretty good but far from great prior to that. He can still develop and in the right situation potentially be a top 15 starter but that is major, major question mark based on his health history. If you sign Bridgewater, you should absolutely still be in the market for drafting a quarterback with the 6th pick in the NFL Draft or looking at making another veteran addition. You cannot sign him and expect him to be your starter of 16 games.
As it stands today, I feel exactly the same. There is no question the Jets still need to draft a quarterback in the first round and should seriously be looking at trading up for Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield. Bridgewater has not played a meaningful snap since the 2015 season, you cannot risk counting on him being your guy for 16 games.
3 – Here are the positives: Bridgewater is only 25 years old and he was a former first round pick for a reason. He quarterbacked a playoff team in 2015, leading the Vikings to a NFC North crown where they were knocked out in the first round because their kicker missed a comically short kick. Bridgewater is accurate, with a career 64.7 completion percentage. He showed notable signs of improvement from his rookie season in 2014 to 2015, improving his completion percentage and cutting back on his interceptions (12 to 9). Bridgewater is also a threat to run the football, with 398 career rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns over his first two seasons in the NFL. To date, he has been able to play the part of an effective game manager.4 – Here are the negatives – He hasn’t played in 2 years and nearly lost his leg due to a gruesome offseason injury. Bridgewater has only compiled a career 7.23 YPA and has never exceeded 14 touchdowns in a season. Over 29 starts, he is averaging less than 1 touchdown pass per game and his touchdown to interception ratio (28 to 22) is okay but far from stellar. He has not consistently been effective throwing down the field and only has four career games with over 300 yards passing.
5 – Overall, this is a logical move for the Jets that has more upside than your standard veteran quarterback signing. However, they would be naive to act like quarterback is still not a major need heading into April.
Photo Credit: NFL.com