The Carolina Panthers are betting big on former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The one-time Pro Bowl signal-caller and former first-round pick for the Minnesota Vikings back in the 2014 NFL Draft signed a massive three-year, $63 million contract as a free agent this offseason with the Panthers, succeeding ex-MVP gunslinger Cam Newton (and briefly former undrafted QB Kyle Allen, who started most of Carolina’s games in 2019).

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is a big believer in the 27-year-old ex-Louisville standout Bridgewater, via Bill Both in the Panthers’ official team site.

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“He’s a very talented quarterback,” Hurney said of Bridgewater, via ProFootballTalk. “I’ve always liked him. He’s got great feet in the pocket. I think he’s got good vision, a quick release. He’s got good accuracy.

“I think everybody you talk to, they talked about his leadership skills, and he’s got familiarity with [offensive coordinator] Joe Brady’s system since Joe was down there in New Orleans with him. He’s certainly a guy who’s overcome adversity and has, really if you look at it, he’s won everywhere he’s been, so we thought he’d be a good fit for us.”

Bridgewater originally started his NFL career with the Vikings before tearing his ACL in 2016 and later being released when the franchise signed Sam Bradford. Bridgewater was signed by the New York Jets and traded before the end of training camp in 2018 to the Saints. In 2019, in five games future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees missed due to a thumb injury, Bridgewater led New Orleans to a 5-0 record.