Believe it or not, tomorrow marks 2 years since quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered one of the most devastating football injuries in recent memory. During practice on August 30th, 2016, Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury to his left leg. He immediately was stretchered off the field and had an MRI that revealed a torn ACL, structural damage, and dislocating the entire left knee. The injury kept him sidelined for about 19 months, causing him to miss the entirety of that season. To say he’s recovered well is an understatement. Bridgewater’s own surgeon said he never expected him to play football again, but here we are.
He was originally in competition to start at quarterback for the New York Jets this upcoming season with Sam Darnold and 39-year-old Josh McCown. However, it seems that the Jets have indirectly named Darnold the starter moving forward, as on Wednesday, the team traded Bridgewater and a 2019 6th round pick to the New Orleans Saints for a 2009 3rd round pick. Josh McCown is expected to bring up QB2 behind Darnold, but it seems general manager Mike Maccagnan has made his decision. He had this to say about the Teddy trade:
“In his time with us, Teddy was the consummate professional, a great teammate and a tremendous leader. He worked diligently with our medical staff and made tremendous strides along the way. We wish him nothing but success in the future.”
The Jets had already paid Bridgewater $1 million of his 1-year, $6 million contract. So the Saints will pick up the remaining $5 million, and Bridgwater can actually earn up to $9 million in incentives if he reaches certain numbers for the team.
Sean Payton spoke on the team’s website following the transaction and had this to say:
“We are excited to add Teddy Bridgewater to our team. We look forward to working with him and watching him continue to develop as a player.”
Teddy competed in 3 preseason games for the Jets before this trade, and he performed very adequately, hence why I believed there was serious competition for the starting QB job. He completed 28/38 passes for 316 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and finished with an overall passer rating of 104.7.
The Saints picked up on his potential and possibly began planning for a post-Drew Brees era. The team signed Brees to a 2-year deal back in March, and the 39-year-old will be playing in his 17th season in the NFL next year. While Brees seems to be timeless like Tom Brady, there will come a time in the near future where he simply must turn away from the game. And perhaps this trade was an insurance of sorts to begin preparations for a post-Drew Brees era in New Orleans. It seems that Bridgewater will battle veteran QB Tom Savage and sophomore Taysom Hill for the backup QB spot.
Whatever happens, it is still a miracle to me to see Teddy back on the field playing the sport he knows and loves.
Feature Image via Flikr/Keith Allison