Teddy Bridgewater

Jets Notes: Bridgewater, Woody Johnson, Wilcox, Smith

Teddy Bridgewater has only been a Jet for a couple of months now, but trade rumors have been swarming pretty much non-stop since Bridgewater first signed with the team. Many have speculated that the New York could look to move Bridgewater if he shows he’s healthy during the preseason but the Jets decide to roll with Josh McCown and Sam Darnold as their quarterbacks.

But what kind of compensation could the Jets expect to get assuming he plays well in the preseason? The team could expect “maybe a third-rounder or fourth-rounder in a trade” according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. Slater thinks that’s the maximum the team could get because Bridgewater is only on a one year deal. As for which teams may inquire about Bridgewater, Slater thinks it will come down to which team suffers a “quarterback injury in the preseason.”

Here’s more on the Jets:

  • When Jets owner Woody Johnson accepted an ambassadorship to the United Kingdom, he ceded control of the team to his brother Chris. Whenever Woody returns from his appointment, it’s unlikely that Chris goes away quietly, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link). Cimini says “I can’t see Chris just walking away. He’s really invested in the team.” Cimini goes on to speculate that the Jets may work out a situation where “both are involved.”
  • Slater thinks the recently signed J.J. Wilcox has an inside track at a roster spot. Among the safeties currently competing for the backup roles behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, Slater thinks Doug Middleton “could be the odd man out.”
  • Slater thinks both 2015 second-rounder Devin Smith and 2016 seventh-rounder Charone Peake are on the roster bubble as the team’s wide receiver depth chart sorts itself out. Smith has been plagued by injuries since entering the league as the 37th overall pick.

AFC East Notes: Bridgewater, Gillislee, Bills

When Teddy Bridgewater went down with a devastating knee injury during Vikings training camp in 2016, many doubted he would ever play again. Bridgewater’s journey has been a rollercoaster since then, from being the Vikings franchise quarterback to their third stringer by the time he returned, but he’s back on the field now and has already proved many doubters wrong.

After reportedly coming close to losing his leg entirely, Bridgewater is now a member of the Jets, signed to a one-year deal in March. Although the Jets used the third overall pick on Sam Darnold and still have Josh McCown ahead of Bridgewater for now, Bridgewater apparently has a “legitimate” shot at being the Jets’ 2018 starting quarterback, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter link).

Although very little of Bridgewater’s 2018 salary is guaranteed, he’s apparently showed well in OTAs thus far, making it more unlikely the Jets cut him. The key for Bridgewater will be his healthy and “showing his knee is sound” according to Cimini, who adds that nobody will “know that until he gets hit in a preseason game.” If Bridgewater does manage to win the Jets’ starting job this summer, it would be one of the most incredible comeback stories in recent memory.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • The Patriots’ running back room is currently a bit crowded, and at least one notable name will need to be cut before the regular season begins. That’s most likely to be Mike Gillislee according to Doug Kyed of NESN.com, who says he likes Jeremy Hill‘s chances of making the team better than Gillislee’s, and adds that he has “some questions about Gillislee’s effort after some drill work in OTAs.” A much-hyped free agent acquisition last offseason, Gillislee now appears to be on the outside looking in for a roster spot as he’s buried behind Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden, and possibly Hill.
  • Bills rookie first-rounder Tremaine Edmunds “seems destined to start from Day 1” according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Despite being just 19 when he was drafted, Edmunds is expected to be an every down player at middle linebacker for the Bills. La Canfora adds that rookie quarterback Josh Allen was “hardly perfect” in Thursday’s OTA session, and that he’s likely to begin the season on the bench behind A.J. McCarron. While Edmunds could make some of the Bills’ veteran linebackers expendable, the Bills will likely keep McCarron around since he’s due a relatively cheap $5MM salary, unless Allen is lights out during the preseason.
  • The Jets may target a veteran tight end towards the end of training camp, according to Daryll Slater of NJ.com. Slater points out that the Jets have a group of inexperienced young players at tight end, and the team will want to see how they perform this summer. If they don’t show well, the team will likely seek to bring in a veteran to help guide the young unit, writes Slater. The Jets let Austin Seferian-Jenkins walk to the Jaguars in free agency, and now have only a slew of unproven players at tight end.

AFC Notes: Bridgewater, Pats, Dareus

Teddy Bridgewater has looked very good in OTAs, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, and if his strong performance continues, the Jets could be faced with a difficult decision. They could trade Bridgewater — which was the plan when they signed him — or they could name him their starting QB for at least the beginning of 2018 while they continue to groom Sam Darnold. Starting Bridgewater would likely mean keeping three quarterbacks on the roster, as the nearly 39-year-old Josh McCown doesn’t really have any trade value. But head coach Todd Bowles, who is coaching for his job this year, will want to start the best quarterback he has, and he is a big believer in Bridgewater.

Let’s take a look at a few more rumors and notes from the AFC:

  • Cimini also details Christian Hackenberg‘s last few months with the Jets before he was shipped to the Raiders. We already knew that Bowles was not aware Hackenberg changed his throwing motion until after the fact, but Hackenberg first approached Jets QB coach Jeremy Bates about making the change, and Bates was skeptical. That caused some friction between the two men, and it forced Hackneberg to go outside the organization to seek help with his mechanics.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe points out how Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady continue to (needlessly) fan the flames of controversy that owner Robert Kraft keeps trying to extinguish, and that the apparent tension between Belichick and Brady may be one of the reasons why Brady has not attended spring practices. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Brady’s absence has not created as big of a leadership void as one might expect, as younger players are taking a more active role in that regard and veteran players like Julian Edelman and Dont’a Hightower are back after their 2017 season was marred by injury.
  • The Broncos released C.J. Anderson last month, leaving Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson as the top candidates to become the team’s next No. 1 RB. However, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post says Royce Freeman, whom the team selected in the third round of last month’s draft, has the durability and history of production to suggest he can be an every-down back at the next level, and he will get a chance to make a major impact right away. His heavy collegiate workload could have contributed to his falling to the third round.
  • Marcell Dareus more than wore out his welcome in Buffalo, leading the Bills to ship him to the Jaguars before last year’s trade deadline. Dareus, though, found new life in Jacksonville, and per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk (citing Mike Kaye of First Coast News), Dareus continues to be a good soldier for the Jags. Head coach Doug Marrone said, “I’m very happy with the way he’s worked, the way he has come into camp. I think those are things he has done a much better job of than what maybe he had done in the past. I can appreciate that and see that in him.” That is not an insignificant statement, as Dareus’ effort in Buffalo seemed to evaporate after he signed his big-money extension, so perhaps he has matured and will continue to be a solid contributor to Jacksonville’s talented defensive front. Marrone, of course, was also Dareus’ coach in Buffalo during Dareus’ best two seasons to date (2013-14), so he has a pretty good reference point.

Latest On Jets’ Teddy Bridgewater

For the first time in two years, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is participating fully in OTAs (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Bridgewater took the field on Tuesday morning as the No. 2 QB behind last year’s starter Josh McCown. The early word is encouraging as he ran a few bootleg passes and showed no signs of favoring his surgically-repaired knee. 

[RELATED: Jets’ Terrelle Pryor Dealing With Injury]

The Jets signed Bridgewater to a one-year, $6MM in March with the potential to make significantly more based on playtime and performance. However, the $500K signing bonus in the deal represents the only guaranteed portion of the deal. Considering the presence of McCown and No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold, it seems like Bridgewater will have to show that he is no less than 100% healthy in order to keep his place on the roster.

During his two years as the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Bridgewater was competent, but not a world-beater. In 28 starts, Bridgewater completed 65% of his passes and averaged 3,075 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Since 2015, he has attempted just two passes in live action.

While Bridgewater was able to take the field on Tuesday morning, fellow newcomer Terrelle Pryor was not a participant thanks to an ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Jets’ Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Hackenberg

Not many teams have much attention devoted to their third-, fourth-, and fifth-string quarterbacks, but then again, not many teams have had a quarterback situation quite like that of the Jets in recent years. Now that Gang Green has Josh McCown and Sam Darnold entrenched as its top two signal-callers — and now that Bryce Petty is no longer in the picture — there is some intrigue as to what the team will do with Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Hackenberg.

Both players, of course, come with plenty of uncertainty. The biggest question mark surrounding Bridgewater is his health, and Brian Costello of the New York Post calls Bridgewater’s ability to be a full participant in the team’s OTAs that begin on May 22 “the biggest mystery of the spring.” When asked what the former Viking will be able to do in OTAs, head coach Todd Bowles said, “I can’t give you 100 percent. I’ll see when it gets to that. Then I’ll be able to tell you.” 

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, reading between the lines, says the odds are that Bridgewater will be limited in some fashion. Indeed, when asked if Bridgewater has been running with teammates in conditioning drills, Bowles said simply, “[h]e’s been working out.”

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, though, says that even if Bridegwater is not able to fully participate in OTAs, it should not be cause for concern. Mehta tweets that Bridgewater is on schedule in his recovery from the catastrophic knee injury he suffered in 2016, and he may even be a little ahead of schedule.

If that’s the case, that could spell the end of Hackenberg’s time in New York. As Cimini indicates, Hackenberg’s days appear numbered, though the Penn State product would stand a better chance of sticking around if Bridgewater’s health remains in doubt. In an effort to jumpstart his career, Hackenberg — who has not taken a regular season snap in his first two seasons in the league — has recently revamped his throwing motion.

Even more interesting is the fact that Hackenberg made the change without consulting the team first, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv. As Bowles said, “[Hackenberg] hasn’t talked to me about it. He’s just worked on it and I learned about it after the fact.” Bowles also did not give a definitive answer as to whether the change in mechanics would help, or why Hackenberg waited to long to make the change.

Given Hackenberg’s pedigree — and perhaps his new mechanics, which he has worked on with quarterback guru Jeff Christiensen — he will certainly generate some interest if and when the Jets give him his walking papers. But it’s still a little too early to say whether he or Bridgewater will be the odd man out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings

With the selection of Sam Darnold at No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets brought their quarterback room to five. The USC product joined Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Newsday’s Calvin Watkins, however, notes that number is expected to shrink by the time the team heads to training camp in July.

The two obvious candidates to be moved or released are Petty and Hackenberg. The former has failed to impress in seven starts, and the latter, despite having a cannon for an arm, has yet to make an appearance in his first two seasons.

Even if one of the two make it to training camp, another move is likely to come as keeping four quarterbacks would handicap the team at other positions. In addition to Darnold, it would be hard to see the veteran McCown not making the squad. The journeyman is viewed as invaluable in the locker room and is the perfect candidate to help the young Darnold learn the ropes of the NFL.

Bridgewater, however, is no lock to make the roster. As Watkins notes, the former Vikings signal-caller receives a $5MM base salary if he makes the team. If not, the Jets are only out the $500,000 signing bonus. If he proves he is back to his pre-injury form, New York will have a steal. If not, the team can cut bait with minimal salary implications.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Broncos did not endure a turnover in the scouting department following this weekend’s draft, 9 News’ Mike Klis tweets. In the wake of the annual draft, it is not uncommon for teams to part ways with scouts and personnel department. Team president John Elway, however, decided to bring everyone back.
  • The Chiefs hired Eagles assistant director of college scouting Michael Bradway to an undisclosed position, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia tweets. Mosher notes Bradway, who was with the Eagles for seven seasons, joins back up with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who also spent time in Philadelphia.
  • The Giants attempted to trade into the back end of the second round to select Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz writes. Though a deal did not form, New York was still able to pluck the speedy edge rusher when he fell to their third-round pick (No. 66). “What you have to appreciate is his unseen production. If he is flying off the edge, he is creating pressure. Sometimes you are looking at guys that create plays for others.,” general manager Dave Gettleman said.
  • The Eagles drafted their fewest players since 1989 when it emerged from the draft with only five selections. That is not a spot the team wants to be in again, general manager Howie Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Les Bowen. “I think it’s a hard first couple of days for people who put a lot of time and effort into the process, and you see that,” Roseman said. “The last two days, it’s hard. A lot of guys get off the board, so we don’t want to do that again. I think that’s the first takeaway.”
  • Vikings center Pat Elflein is doing “part work” in spring drills but is not going to be ready for OTAs, the player told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Elflein suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 21 and underwent surgery the following week. “We’re just not rushing it. I’m just trying to get myself back in shape and get strong and be ready to go.,” Elflein said.

Extra Points: Bridgewater, Gronk, Browns, Vikings

It’s been assumed that Jets quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty are trade/release candidates, especially since the team is eyeing a signal-caller with their first-round pick. However, Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com says another Jets quarterback could be at risk of losing their job.

Williams reports that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a lock to make the Jets roster, “at least until he shows he’s healthy.” The 25-year-old has played less than 10 combined snaps over the past two seasons, but he still earned a one-year deal worth $500K in guaranteed money. During his last season as a starter in 2015, Bridgewater completed 65.3-percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

If the Jets indeed select a quarterback, the depth chart will be incredibly crowded. Besides the three previously-mentioned quarterbacks, the team is also rostering projected starter Josh McCown.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski confirmed on Tuesday that he’ll suit up for the Patriots in 2018, and Peter King of The MMQB is curious about the timing of his announcement. It’s purely speculative from King, but he wonders if Gronk was told that he would have to make his intentions clear about playing before this weekend’s draft. The Patriots have been willing to deal star players in the past, so Gronkowski could have feared that he would have wound up in the same boat as Richard Seymour and Chandler Jones.
  • If the Browns move down from No. 4, they could target Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward further down the board, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Browns have already made some additions at cornerback, but they’re looking for another starter. If they land Ward, you can expect Cleveland to trade Jamar Taylor.
  • Earlier today, reports indicated that Browns head coach Hue Jackson wasn’t sure what the organization would do with the first-overall pick. However, Steve Wyche of NFL Network tweets that Jackson is “fully in the loop” regarding Cleveland’s draft plans. Jackson, along with several coordinators, have seen the front office’s draft board.
  • Vikings GM Rick Spielman seems to have an affinity for taking players out of the ACC, as Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune writes. The Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook, Danny Isidora, Stacy Coley, Bucky Hodges and Jack Tocho, all from the ACC, last year. Conversely, Spielman rarely takes players from the Big 12, with only two selections from that conference — Tyrus Thompson (Oklahoma) and Elijah Lee (Kansas State) — in his six drafts at the wheel.

Jets Rumors: Mayfield, Hackenberg, Teddy

As the Jets prepare to reconvene on Monday for their first day of the offseason program, here’s where their quarterback situation stands — both in terms of veterans and the player they’re eyeing at No. 3.

  • While it’s not certain if Baker Mayfield would win out in a Mayfield-or-Sam Darnold scenario, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes the Oklahoma-developed passer would be Gang Green’s preferred option over Josh Allen. The Jets will be prepared to go with Mayfield’s accuracy — back-to-back seasons with a 71 percent completion rate, albeit in the Sooners’ air raid attack — and his career winning games for the Big 12 school over the Wyoming product with the tantalizing upside. Although, at just 6-foot, Mayfield would be the shortest quarterback the Jets drafted since Jeff Blake in 1992, Cimini writes. Blake did end up having a 14-year career, despite only one of those seasons occurring with the Jets.
  • If the Browns take Allen and the Giants draft Darnold, Cimini expects the Jets to stay with Mayfield if confronted with a Mayfield-or-Josh Rosen decision (Twitter link). While the Jets held a higher opinion of the latter going into the offseason, Mayfield may well have usurped the UCLA product as the draft nears.
  • Lamar Jackson is not under consideration for the Jets at No. 3 overall, per Cimini (on Twitter). While Jackson has met with the Browns, it hasn’t been reported that he visited the Jets, Giants or Broncos. His known meetings have come with the Ravens, Chargers and Saints thus far. And the Patriots have interest in the Louisville standout.
  • Todd Bowles expects Teddy Bridgewater to throw passes this spring, but it’s uncertain how much the recently signed QB will participate in the team portions of these voluntary workouts, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. The Jets signed Bridgewater to an incentive-laden contract, doing so after the Vikings expressed concern about his knee this offseason. For now, Josh McCown is preparing to start for a second season in green.
  • While both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty could be on their way out of the Big Apple soon, Costello writes Petty is the likeliest to be given walking papers before camp commences. As for Hackenberg, there remains a contingent at Jets headquarters hoping he can be salvaged to some degree. However, once the new quarterback arrives, the 2016 second-round pick will be the fourth-string quarterback going into camp. The statuses of these incumbent backups could be determined by how Bridgewater looks in camp. Hackenberg has still yet to play in a regular-season game. Petty finished the past two seasons for the Jets, but has led them to one win in seven starts and last season finished with a 49 percent completion rate.

North Notes: Browns, Vikings, Meredith

The Vikings are working on a deal that would bring Terence Newman back to the Twin Cities, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Newman has expressed a desire to not only return for his age-40 season but do so with the Vikings. However, Tomasson confirms a previous report that money is an issue for a potential re-up. Newman made $3.58MM in 2017. Minnesota reached an agreement to re-sign Marcus Sherels and has Mackensie Alexander back for a third year behind their the team’s starting duo. Newman played in 16 games last season and remained a mid-tier corner in the opinion of Pro Football Focus despite his age.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions as we enter draft month.

  • Connected mostly to Sam Darnold and Josh Allen at No. 1 overall, the Browns are still publicly expressing their interest in the big four quarterbacks at this juncture of the process. But Hue Jackson is “very close” to finalizing a preference to bring to John Dorsey and has said he would like a quarterback whose mobility is relatively in step with Tyrod Taylor‘s, as opposed to a stationary passer. The Baker Mayfield interest is believed to be genuine, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports, adding the Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed a “great” workout with the Browns this week. The team is expected to bring Allen, Darnold, Mayfield and Josh Rosen in for visits before the draft.
  • Darnold-to-Cleveland has been the scenario most discussed around the league at this point, Terry Pluto of cleveland.com writes. While Pluto doesn’t discount the idea of the Browns going in a different direction, he has not heard anything lately connecting the team to Rosen. The UCLA quarterback was not exactly a portrait of enthusiasm about a potential Browns union when that subject surfaced late last year.
  • After the Browns take their quarterback at No. 1, Pluto expects them to select Bradley Chubb at No. 4. The caveat of the N.C. State dynamo being available should obviously be included, but with the Jets expected to take a QB at No. 3 and it making sense for the Giants to do the same at 2, the Browns could have the inside track on selecting the top quarterback and top non-quarterback in the draft. Jackson hasn’t exactly been evasive about envisioning what Chubb would bring to the Browns’ defense.
  • The Vikings still had concerns about Teddy Bridgewater‘s knee after the 2017 regular season, despite the quarterback being activated midway through the year. Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes these concerns affected the team’s approach regarding the former first-round pick this offseason. “The reports I’d get back from the medical people weren’t as positive as I was about it,” Mike Zimmer said. “That’s kind of how it came down is that his knee wasn’t as … he still has some recovery to do. When I watched him in practice he moved well, I didn’t see limitations but from what I’m told there was some.” The Vikings deactivated Bridgewater for both of their playoff games, and his Jets contract is light on guarantees.
  • Having brought in several UFA or RFA wideouts for visits recently, the Ravens may have a favorite among these pass-catchers. Baltimore is believed to be particularly high on Cameron Meredith, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports. Given the low-end tender by the Bears, Meredith joined fellow RFA Willie Snead and UFA Michael Floyd in trekking to Maryland for visits this month. Meredith’s met with the Colts and Saints as well, doing so after missing the entire 2017 season. The 25-year-old former UDFA, though, broke out with 888 receiving yards for the 2016 Bears. The Bears have $27.5MM in cap space compared to the Ravens’ $10.7MM figure, for offer-matching purposes.

AFC Contract Details: Butler, Johnson, Bridgewater

Here are figures on some of the recent contracts signed around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise.