New York Jets: How to handle the Teddy Bridgewater situation

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

How the New York Jets must handle the situation with Teddy  Bridgewater.

This is going to sound weird, but the New York Jets could be heading towards a problem. Believe it or not, the problem could be Teddy Bridgewater. According to reports from OTAs, Bridgewater is causing a buzz with the team. Why? He looks healthy. He seems to be moving around and throwing the football better than they ever expected him to be at this stage. The competition for quarterback could be a three-way competition.

So why is this a problem? Having an able-bodied quarterback in his 20s is a good thing, isn’t it? After all he did lead the Vikings to the playoffs before he tore up his knees. This can’t be a bad idea, can it? The issue is that it could cause a problem for the long-term. It could alter the long-term plans for the team in not necessarily a positive way.

Keeping Bridgewater around is going to alter the situation with Sam Darnold. The Jets aren’t expecting much out of Bridgewater, otherwise they would have paid them much more than just a signing bonus with some incentives. The investment was made in Darnold because the plan is to give the team to him to lead. Whoever plays is just the bridge to the Darnold era.

If Bridgewater becomes that guy, people may feel different. He only turns 26 in 2018. As we mentioned earlier, he led his former team on a run to the playoffs and was an up and coming quarterback prior to his injury. He completed 65% of his passes in 2015 on his way to a Pro Bowl selection. He is still in the prime of his career and could lead a team if healthy.

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But in this case, for this team, having Bridgewater lead the way doesn’t make sense.

They signed him to a one-year contract. Let’s say he won the job and started all 16 games. He kept the Jets in the race and led them to the brink of the playoffs, similarly to how Ryan Fitzpatrick did in 2015. Then what happens?

There will be a clamor to keep Bridgewater around for another year. But if he has a big year, he won’t play for just a signing bonus like he is in 2018. They would have to spend a decent amount of money to keep him around and that would mean investing in him and Sam Darnold.

The alternative would be to let him walk. That sounds easy but the ramifications would be getting nothing for him. It makes no sense to allow this guy to show that he can play and then get nothing for him.

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It makes a lot more sense to attempt a trade during training camp. Let him play, and if the reports are accurate, he will look good. Someone will get injured somewhere around the league. Mike Maccagnan should make the call to the team that suffers that injury and trade Bridgewater there, getting second round picks back in return.

No matter how well Bridgewater plays in camp it doesn’t make sense for him to start with this team.