The pros and cons of Jets signing Teddy Bridgewater
By Michael Henken
Did the New York Jets make a smart move by agreeing to terms with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater via free agency? Or did they make a move that they’ll regret down the road? Here are the pros and cons.
After missing out on top target Kirk Cousins, it was clear that the New York Jets had to resort to plan B in regards to filling the void at the quarterback position. The Jets began that process with two free agent signings.
While it’s still entirely possible that the Jets will use the No. 6 pick on a quarterback in next month’s draft, the team added a bit more depth to its roster on the eve of free agency. First, Josh McCown’s agent announced that McCown would be returning to the Jets on a one-year $10 million deal.
Then, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that former Minnesota Viking Teddy Bridgewater would be signing a one-year deal with the green and white as well. At just 25-years-old, Bridgewater is certainly the more intriguing signing, although he’s missed the majority of the last two seasons due to injuries, which raises a bit of concern.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Jets signing Bridgewater.
The first thing that stands out when looking at Bridgewater is his age. Despite his inactivity over the past two seasons, Bridgewater, if healthy, has a ton of upside and quite possibly a ton of gas left in the tank.
It’s also important to note that prior to suffering a devastating non-contact knee injury in 2016, Bridgewater saw success on the gridiron and it appeared as if a promising career lied in front of him.
After being drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his rookie season.
In 2015, he improved across the board, completing 65.3% of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He was also named to the Pro Bowl that year and appeared in one playoff game. Clearly, Bridgewater has the skills to compete in the NFL. It’s unclear whether or not he can be a long-term answer for the Jets, but if he shows up to camp healthy and resembles something like what he’s shown in the past, he could prove to be a solid acquisition for the Jets.
While his youth, previous success, and potential upside are certainly bright spots surrounding Bridgewater, there are also cons to the Jets signing him.
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First and foremost is obviously his health and injury history. Over the last two seasons, Bridgewater has appeared in just one game, attempted just two passes, and thrown one interception. His recent track record doesn’t exactly provide a ton of promise to a team in desperate need of a franchise quarterback like the Jets.
And not only does his ability to stay healthy raise some concern, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be the same player when he arrives at the Jets’ training camp. Sure, he performed well throughout 2014-15, but injuries as serious as a torn ACL and a dislocated knee can certainly change the course of one’s career.
Simply put, there are far more risks, questions and concerns surrounding Bridgewater as there are sure-fire answers.
Next: Final Thoughts
Ultimately, I don’t mind this signing. I’m not buying into the thought that Bridgewater could be the long-term answer for the Jets at the quarterback position – at least not yet. But it appears to me as nothing more than a low risk potentially high reward deal.
If Bridgewater performs as well as he did in 2014-15, he could provide the Jets with a solid option at QB, while also providing healthy competition to a younger signal caller, assuming the Jets take one in this year’s draft.
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And if not, the Jets have only signed him to a one-year deal, meaning the team can part ways with him following the 2018 campaign. With that being said, there’s a lot to like with this signing at the end of the day.