It's official, and Teddy Bridgewater knows this is big: Former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is now a member of the Carolina Panthers after the two franchises formally agreed to a trade on Monday afternoon. With Darnold heading down to Charlotte from East Rutherford with the Jets currently possessing the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, the Panthers were forced to part ways with a 2021 sixth-round pick in addition to a second-round pick and fourth-rounder in 2022.
So, what does such a move mean for last year's starter under for the Panthers in veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater?
Although it appears as though the Panthers won't make any rash decisions, the likeliest outcome in the end is that the 28-year-old Teddy Bridgewater is suiting up for another NFL franchsie for the start of the 2021-22 season.
Because the Panthers now employ both Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold in addition to owning a top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Carolina has some options and can make some moves to further improve a team that will once again be forced to compete with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the rest of the always dangerous NFC South.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) April 5, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater options: New Orleans Saints
After his stint with the New Orleans Saints, journeyman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater remained in the NFC South Division, joining the rival Carolina Panthers. After just one season with the Panthers, which came immediately after signing a multi-year free agent contract with the franchise, it appears as though Bridgewater will be replaced by former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. With Bridgewater now a trade candidate, perhaps a reunion in New Orleans is in the cards with legendary Saints quarterback Drew Brees officially hanging up his cleats. Granted the Saints have the tandem of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill under center moving forward, it still remains to be seen as to whether or not either quarterback can serve as the team's long-term option moving forward. Bridgewater would not only add some additional depth to the Saints' quarterback room, but he would also give the team a legitimate option to turn to should things turn sour under the direction of Winston and Hill.
With the Deshaun Watson situation growing more and more grim by the day down in Texas, perhaps the Houston Texans will finally give in on trading the superstar quarterback this offseason, offering an opening for Teddy Bridgewater.
With Watson potentially on the way out of Houston after all, the Texans will to acquire a replacement in his eventual absence. If the Texans are able to deal Watson in exchange for a slew of coveted NFL Draft picks, Houston can then flip one or more of those picks in a deal with the Carolina Panthers to bring Teddy Bridgewater to the AFC South.
Because of his current situation and ongoing legal proceedings, Watson's value will continue to decrease as time goes on. Even though the Texans initially gave Watson a hard “no” when the veteran signal caller asked to be traded, the events that are unfolding and will be unfolding in both Houston and around the league could always change such a narrative. The Texans are currently stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of the team that Houston can even put on the field while adding a veteran player like Teddy Bridgewater to pair with wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back David Johnson wouldn't be the worst outcome on offense.
Of all of the possible scenarios surrounding Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, this is probably the least likely to actually occur. However, that does not mean that it's a bad time to have a little bit of offseason fun as the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to begin gearing up for life after future Pro Football Hall of Fame signal caller Ben Roethlisberger. Even with the Steelers electing to bring “Big Ben” back for at least one more go-round in 2021-22, the back-end of the 2020-21 campaign proved that Roethlisberger certainly doesn't have much more left in the tank.
As a result, perhaps the acquisition of Teddy Bridgewater could prove beneficial for both sides as the Panthers signal caller has done well in a back-up capacity in the past. It is hard to predict how “Big Ben” will play in 2021-22 as the Steelers began the season at a perfect 11-0 in 2020-21 before everything came crashing down — including Roethlisberger's performance. With that in mind, Teddy Bridgewater could become the team's starting quarterback at some point in 2021-22.