Lions To Sign QB Teddy Bridgewater

AUGUST 11: Bridgewater agreed to terms with the Lions on a one-year deal that can max out at $5MM, per’s Adam Schefter, who adds the contract includes $2.5MM guaranteed (Twitter link). This marks a notable decrease from Bridgewater’s $6.5MM guaranteed with the Dolphins last year, but the 10th-year veteran is coming off an injury-plagued season.

AUGUST 7: After contract talks in the spring and the sides getting together for a recent meeting, the Lions and Teddy Bridgewater have a deal in place. The veteran quarterback is heading to Detroit, per’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

The Lions had kept in contact with the former Vikings first-round pick since making him an offer by early April, hosting him on a visit in July. Bridgewater, 30, is now in place to become Jared Goff‘s backup. This will be the Louisville alum’s seventh NFL team. Dan Campbell was on the Saints’ staff during Bridgewater’s two-year New Orleans tenure, and the former tight ends coach will bring him into the fold at a rather pivotal point on the Lions’ timeline.

Bridgewater is coming off a disappointing season with his hometown team. The Dolphins added him on a one-year deal, and with Tua Tagovailoa sustaining multiple concussions, a door opened for the backup to help an improved team. But Bridgewater could not stay on the field, either. The league’s enhanced concussion protocol led to Bridgewater leaving a game against the Jets in October, and he suffered a dislocated pinkie when replacing Tagovailoa in Week 17. Bridgewater was not available for the Dolphins’ Week 18 game or their wild-card contest in Buffalo.

While Bridgewater is attempting to bounce back, he will give the Lions more security behind Goff. Prior to this signing, Nate Sudfeld was positioned as Detroit’s top backup. Campbell had said in June the team was content at quarterback; midway through training camp, that no longer appeared the case.

Hendon Hooker should be expected to grow into the QB2 role, but there is a real possibility the Lions give the third-round pick a true redshirt year after a torn ACL ended his Tennessee career. With Bridgewater having lapped Sudfeld for experience, he will be in place as a stopgap while Hooker recovers and learns the NFL game. Hooker currently resides on the Lions’ active/NFI list.

Injuries have obviously played a big role in Bridgewater’s NFL career. A severe leg malady halted his run as the Vikings’ starter back in 2016; that setback sidelined him for nearly two seasons. But Bridgewater did enjoy the opportunity to return as a starter for multiple teams — the Panthers and Broncos — during the 2020s. Twenty-nine of Bridgewater’s 65 career starts came with Carolina and Denver. The conservative passer did not exactly provide remarkable work in those seasons, but he was plenty capable when available during the 2020 and ’21 campaigns.

The Broncos went 7-7 in Bridgewater’s starts, with the 14th start involving a Drew Lock cameo sinking Denver in a close matchup with eventual AFC champion Cincinnati. Bridgewater threw 18 touchdown passes compared to just seven interceptions during his Broncos season. His 15-TD pass showing in Carolina produced a 17th-place QBR finish. The Panthers still jettisoned Bridgewater’s three-year, $63MM deal after that season. His earning power has diminished significantly in the years since, but the former starter remains a sought-after backup.

As Drew Brees‘ backup in New Orleans, Bridgewater went 5-1 when replacing the future Hall of Famer. Granted, those Saints rosters were among the NFL’s best at the time. But Campbell having been there during the 2018 and ’19 seasons bodes well for Bridgewater’s Detroit fit. Goff did not miss any time due to injury last season, but the former No. 1 overall pick did miss three games in 2021. The Lions lost each contest.

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