Teddy Bridgewater

Dolphins To Sign QB Teddy Bridgewater

Tua Tagovailoa will have a new backup in 2022. Teddy Bridgewater is signing with the Dolphins, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a one-year deal worth $6.5MM fully guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The deal could be worth up to $10MM with incentives.

This will be the former first-round pick’s sixth team, and it will mark a return to QB2 duty for the recent Broncos and Panthers starter. Bridgewater rebuilt his value as Drew Brees‘ backup in New Orleans and landed a big deal from the Panthers in 2020, but after Carolina and Denver moved on from him after one season apiece, the Louisville product will provide Miami with one of the NFL’s best backup options.

Formerly with the Vikings and Jets (offseason only) as well, Bridgewater is entering his age-30 season. The eight-year veteran held off Drew Lock to be Denver’s starter last season and had the team at 7-6 before suffering his second concussion of the year. The Broncos shut him down after that Week 15 setback, and the team lost to the Bengals after Bridgewater went down and proceeded to drop its final three games with Lock at the controls.

Tagovailoa backup duty carries significant responsibility, with Tua having entered the NFL after a major hip injury. He then suffered another injury early in the 2021 season, moving Jacoby Brissett into Miami’s lineup. Brissett will now seek work elsewhere.

Bridgewater finished with an 18-7 TD-INT ratio with the Broncos, doing so despite missing three full games and another half after suffering his initial 2021 concussion against the Ravens. While known as one of the league’s more conservative passers, Bridgewater checks off a key box for the Dolphins. He has made 63 starts in his career, having battled back from a brutal knee injury that ended his first run as a starter back in 2016.

QB Rumors: Trubisky, Winston, Taylor, Lock

The Giants’ new head coach, Brian Daboll, worked with free agent quarterback Mitchell Trubisky when they were both with the Bills last year (Daboll as offensive coordinator). Well, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Daboll has interest in luring Trubisky to join him in New York.

There’s been some interest in bringing Trubisky to Pittsburgh, as well, where a path to starting is much more clear. If Daboll’s familiarity with the sixth-year quarterback is able to attract him to the Giants, though, the head coach sees the potential for him to mirror the results of Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee. A quick refresher: Tannehill arrived in Nashville in 2019 in a trade with the Dolphins. Tannehill started the season in the role of back up quarterback to the incumbent starter Marcus Mariota. After a 2-4 start to the season, Mariota was benched in favor of Tannehill, who went 7-3 for the rest of the year and led the Titans to the AFC Championship Game.

Daboll holds hope that, while Daniel Jones may retain the starting job in New York, if the need presents itself, Trubisky could provide the same effect as Tannehill.

Some other notes concerning quarterbacks around the league:

  • Another option the Steelers could be looking into, Jameis Winston is looking like the most likely starting quarterback for the Saints in 2022, according to Graziano. With Teddy Bridgewater headed to free agency, a return to New Orleans could be possible, and Winston may see some opportunities in testing the free agent market, himself. But Winston is a locker room favorite that saw success on the Saints before tearing his ACL midseason last year.
  • Tyrod Taylor lost the starting job in Houston last year to rookie quarterback Davis Mills. With Mills expected to return to the starting position next year, the Texans do have interest in bringing Taylor back in the role of back up quarterback, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Taylor has chased starting jobs throughout his career and has seen some success at times. He may search for a new opportunity to start, but, if not, Taylor has shown professionalism several times in back up roles mentoring young quarterbacks.
  • After receiving Drew Lock in the Russell Wilson-trade with the Broncos, Seattle is considering the elements to Lock’s lack of success in Denver, according to Fowler. Some believe that the revolving door of offensive coordinators contributed to his struggles. Seattle is analyzing whether they believe in Pete Carroll‘s ability to develop Lock, who showed glimpses of promise in his early appearances as a Bronco, or whether they need to make moves for Deshaun Watson to win now.

Broncos Set To Be Aggressive In QB Pursuit

It’s no secret that the Broncos will be in the market for a new quarterback. In his media availability Tuesday, general manager George Paton confirmed that the team will be active in adding a signal caller (video link via Denver7’s Troy Renck). 

Paton made it clear how open the team is to exploring all options, something which could be made easier by the fact they have 11 picks in the upcoming draft, starting with the ninth selection. When specifically asked about the current QB situation the team is facing, he reiterated that change could soon be coming.

It’s the most important position in sports, so we’re always looking”, he said, noting the presence of 2019 second rounder Drew Lock on the roster. “But we’re always looking. And we’re [going to leave] no stone unturned to find that guy. We know we need better play out of the quarterback position, so we’re going to be aggressive”. 

Pending free agent Teddy Bridgewater was the team’s starter in 2021 (after winning a training camp competition with Lock), making him the latest in a long line of attempts to find a permanent successor to Peyton Manning. His play, while on par with what the team would’ve expected given his prior stops in the NFL, wasn’t enough to end the team’s playoff drought.

New head coach Nathaniel Hackett is among the reasons Denver has been listed as a potential trade destination for Aaron Rodgers, though Green Bay could still end up being where the reigning MVP plays next year. If not Rodgers, the team could look to acquire a veteran such as Jimmy Garoppolo, or turn to the upcoming draft. On that point, 9News’ Mike Klis tweeted that the team had formal interviews with this year’s QBs on Monday night at the Combine. Given their position in the draft order, Denver could have its pick of the class, which is headlined by the likes of Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell and Malik Willis.

As one of the biggest players in the QB market, the route Denver takes to find someone new under center will dictate much of the rest of the offseason, both in the Mile High City and beyond.

Steelers Reportedly Targeting Winston, Bridgewater, Trubisky At QB

The Steelers have repeatedly praised Mason Rudolph in public when asked about the team’s quarterback situation. However, they’ve also made it clear they intend to add competition for the starting job this offseason, something which will likely involve being active in free agency. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, three QBs the team is targeting are Jameis WinstonTeddy Bridgewater and Mitch Trubisky

Winston, 28, is coming off of his first year as the starter in New Orleans, following an up-and-down five year stint in Tampa Bay and one season as Drew Brees‘ understudy. He won five of his seven starts, throwing 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, but suffered a torn ACL and suffered MCL damage on Halloween which ended his season. The former first overall pick could help New Orleans transition out of the Sean Payton era by coming back on what would, presumably, be a relatively affordable deal for the cash-strapped Saints. It was reported recently that the team could be interested in doing just that.

As for Bridgewater, Denver marked his third team in as many seasons. The former Vikings starter also spent time as the backup in New Orleans, but couldn’t find much success as the No. 1 with the Panthers or Broncos. His numbers in Denver – from completion and touchdown percentage, to yards per attempt and rushing averages – were essentially on par with his career figures. The 29-year-old (whose season also ended on IR, due to a concussion) is the most proven commodity of the three listed, and could be an effective stopgap for the Steelers as they search for a more permanent solution.

Lastly, Trubisky spent the 2021 campaign as Josh Allen‘s backup in Buffalo. Despite a Pro Bowl season in 2018, his second in the league, he will forever be tied to the fact he was taken second overall in 2017 ahead of the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Without having developed as expected in Chicago, he found himself without a starting gig this past year, and threw only eight pass attempts. Like Winston, though, there is an appetite for the 27-year-old to re-sign with his current team.

As Wilson notes, and had been reported during the Senior Bowl, the Steelers are thought to like Liberty QB Malik Willis. He might have the best physical traits in this year’s class, though he is also said to be the least NFL-ready amongst potential first-rounders. Pairing him with one of these three veterans could add healthy competition to Pittsburgh’s in-house options, and increase their chances of finding Ben Roethlisberger‘s long-term successor.

Vikings Expected To Fire Mike Zimmer, Retain GM Rick Spielman

On thin ice for much of this season, Mike Zimmer is not expected to receive a ninth year as Vikings head coach. Minnesota is expected to move on from its longtime HC after Week 18, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.

This situation was headed toward this conclusion for a bit now, with the Vikings’ past two losses likely sealing the defensive-minded coach’s fate. Ownership nearly canned Zimmer after the Vikes’ run to the divisional round in 2019, so it was going to be tough for the 65-year-old HC to withstand back-to-back losing seasons.

While the Vikings have made the playoffs three times under Zimmer, his abrasive style has worn on the team, La Canfora adds. The team’s two Kirk Cousins contracts have not produced the desired results, with the high-priced quarterback set to finish 1-for-4 in playoff berths under Zimmer. The Vikings advanced to the postseason in 2015 with Teddy Bridgewater at the controls and reached the 2017 NFC championship game with Case Keenum. Zimmer’s defenses were in better shape during those seasons; injuries limited the Vikings’ defensive capabilities over the past two years.

A longtime defensive coordinator, Zimmer had the Vikings perched as a top-10 scoring defense from 2015-19. Over the past two seasons, however, the team has fallen off that pace. Going into Week 18, Minnesota ranks 25th in points allowed and 31st in total defense. The 7-9 squad has been without Danielle Hunter for most of this season and lost Everson Griffen in November. Hunter missed all of last season as well. Zimmer would likely be a strong DC candidate elsewhere if/once the Vikings pull the trigger on firing him.

GM Rick Spielman‘s status is less certain, but he should be expected to return. Spielman has been with the Vikings since 2006, lasting through the Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and Zimmer tenures. Although the Vikings could start fresh with a new GM, Albert Breer of SI.com notes Spielman is expected to remain with the team — be it in his current role or in another executive position. La Canfora also hears Spielman is not viewed as a chopping-block candidate. Spielman, 59, could be in position to select the next Vikings GM, in a scenario similar to how the Broncos transitioned from John Elway in that post last year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/5/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears 

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Broncos Place Teddy Bridgewater On IR

Teddy Bridgewater‘s season is over. On Wednesday, the Broncos announced that the quarterback has been placed on the injured reserve list, ruling him out for this week’s finale against the Chiefs. 

Bridgewater is still recovering from the concussion that sidelined — and hospitalized — him a few weeks ago. Without him, the Broncos will once again turn to Drew Lock, the third-year passer who has has come up short in starts against the Raiders and Chargers.

The Broncos fell out of playoff contention without Bridgewater, a steady veteran force who has thrown for 18 touchdowns against seven interceptions this year. Bridgewater’s first Denver season will end with 3,052 passing yards and a 66.9% completion rate, plus 30 carries for 106 yards and two rushing TDs.

This upcoming game might not mean much for the Broncos in the long-term, but it could be a deciding factor in Lock’s future.

The strong-armed Mizzou product has shown flashes at times, but he also led the NFL with 15 interceptions in 2020 — quite the feat, considering he also missed three games. One year remains on the ex-second-rounder’s contract and it’s hard to imagine him returning if he doesn’t deliver this weekend.

Bridgewater, meanwhile, agreed to truncate the three-year, $63MM deal he initially signed with the Panthers. Under the terms of his revised pact, he is now scheduled for free agency in March.

Broncos To Start Drew Lock In Week 16

The concussion that hospitalized Teddy Bridgewater will sideline him for the Broncos’ Week 16 game. Vic Fangio confirmed Drew Lock will start against the Raiders.

While the third-year coach said Bridgewater remains Denver’s starter when healthy, via 9News’ Mike Klis (on Twitter), Lock will make his first start since facing the Raiders in Week 17 of last season. The third-year passer has made multiple relief appearances this year but will be asked to start in what amounts to an elimination game for the Broncos.

Demoted after being Denver’s starter for a season and change, Lock has been erratic in his relief outings. He lost a crucial fumble in the red zone in Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the Bengals and threw an interception late in the first half against the Chargers last month. Lock also did not play earlier this season against the Browns, when the Broncos deployed a hobbled Bridgewater. The Mizzou product has ties to this coaching staff but not GM George Paton, who took over this year.

Fangio left the door open to Bridgewater returning for the Broncos’ final two games, but the resilient passer has suffered two concussions this season. The Broncos’ Week 15 loss to the Bengals reduced their playoff odds to 5%, per FiveThirtyEight.com. The team falling out of the race could open the door to more Lock starts, but beyond that, its quarterback situation will be murky going into another offseason.

The Broncos’ actions this year do not present much confidence in Lock, though the strong-armed QB has shown flashes. He also led the NFL with 15 interceptions last season, despite missing three games. One year remains on the ex-second-rounder’s contract. With the team expected to chase another quarterback upgrade in 2022, Lock stands to be in limbo going into a contract year.

Teddy Bridgewater Suffers Head Injury

Late in the third quarter of the Broncos’ loss to Cincinnati, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was carted off the field when he appeared to lose consciousness following a hard impact with the ground on a diving play. Bengals defensive tackle B.J. Hill applied a hit from behind mid-dive in an attempt to tackle the quarterback. The hit didn’t appear to be dirty or malicious in any way, but some combination of the dive, the hit, and the landing made for a scary scene in the Mile High Stadium.

Medical staff brought out a stretcher to stabilize Bridgewater and removed his facemask from his helmet. Bridgewater left strapped down on the cart and was taken to a hospital. The Denver Broncos have announced that these were all precautionary measures and that Bridgewater will stay overnight for further evaluation, but that everything has checked out well so far.

Bridgewater suffered a concussion earlier this year in a Week 4 loss to the Ravens, so taking every precaution to ensure his safety only makes sense. In the meantime, Bridgewater was immediately replaced by former starter Drew Lock and they have second-year quarterback Brett Rypien on the roster, as well.

The Broncos are surely hoping for a quick recovery from Bridgewater as they still find themselves firmly in the running for a wildcard spot in a wild AFC.

Latest On Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater

This past weekend, there were some rumbling that Broncos quarterback (and impending free agent) Teddy Bridgewater was eyeing a multiyear deal worth $25MM per season. However, the QB dismissed those rumors when speaking with reporters earlier today.

“Until it comes from me, it’s not true,” Bridgewater said (h/t to Andrew Mason on Twitter). “That’s what happens during this time of year. You see numbers come out. You try to put a value on a guy so that if things don’t work out with the team that he’s playing on, it’s, ‘Oh, he wanted too much money.’ I’ll tell you right now, I haven’t mentioned anything about a deal. My primary focus is trying to help this team win football games and trying to get into the playoffs. The rest will take care of itself. My job is to play football. All that other stuff, that’s for my agent and my advisors. I’m here to help this team be a better football team every day.”

Bridgewater’s agent was also quick to shoot down the reports.

“Teddy is focused on the season and winning football games,” the QB’s agent, Kennard McGuire, told Mike Klis of 9News on Twitter. “Anything outside of that is completely false.”

While it isn’t a surprise that Bridgewater and his camp denied the rumors, it’s also not outrageous to suggest that the quarterback could earn that kind of money in free agency. The 29-year-old is having one of his best NFL seasons, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 2954 yards, 18 touchdowns, and seven interceptions (he’s also added 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground). He’s also gone 7-6 as a starter and kept the Broncos in playoff contention. A $25MM salary would be middle-of-the-road among starting QBs, and with a rising cap, that could very well be the going rate for a player of Bridgewater’s caliber.