Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The New York Jets have a golden opportunity at quarterback and his name isn’t Sam Darnold. Can the green and white capitalize?

To be honest, the New York Jets have found plenty of golden tickets in those Willy Wonka bars over the years. But obviously, they haven’t been able to maximize the “lifetime supply of chocolate” they thought they won.

Now they have another golden ticket, but they didn’t find this one in the high-priced store. This isn’t a third overall pick golden ticket (Sam Darnold). No, this is a slightly smudged ticket that still has value—Teddy Bridgewater.

He’s one of the forgotten men in this quarterback battle. But before we start putting his picture on the sides of milk cartons, consider this: Phase three of the Jets’ offseason programs begin on Tuesday and that’s when we’ll get our real first look at Bridgewater throwing around the pigskin.

The Jets have been adamant that Bridgewater will be “100 percent ready” for training camp, but expect him to be somewhat limited in this third phase. Temper those expectations, at least at first.

This will be the final phase before Jets training camp at the end of July.

Essentially the Jets made a $500,000 investment in Bridgewater. The best case scenario is that he proves that he’s as good or better than he was prior to his devastating knee injury and becomes trade bait.

Then he will be dealt to the highest bidder, allowing the Jets to make good on their investment.

The worst-case scenario, however, finds that Bridgewater is an injury prone player who the Jets release and lose nothing but a half-million, which to the Jets is pennies in the grand scheme of things. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario for the green and white.

But there is another option: Bridgewater winning the starting job.

Not a lot of people are talking about it because the masses are distracted by everything else.

Everyone agrees that Darnold should play when he’s ready. But there’s a chance he won’t be by the time Week 1 rolls around. If that holds true, what’s the point of playing an old Josh McCown? He’s not your future. Hell, he’s barely your present.

Christian Hackenberg is nothing more than a reclamation project who hit CTRL-ATL-DEL on his throwing mechanics. Good luck with that. So that leaves Bridgewater, who can be a viable starter so long as he’s healthy.

Of course, that last part remains a big, unanswered question.

The guy hasn’t played in a game of significance since 2015. It’s now 2018. His health is no guarantee, but when he was healthy, he was an ascending talent.

Bridgewater will be 25 when the season starts and if he wins the job can bring his intelligence, escapability, and accuracy to the table for the green and white.

The Jets have an average offensive line, an average running game, and an underrated receiving corps. While there could be more, you can win with this. Why not Bridgewater?

He’s a golden ticket that you can cash in a variety of ways, but maybe it’s time for Jets Nation to start pondering the possibility of Teddy leading this team to the promised land.

At least in 2018.

People call me Boy Green for my unwavering dedication to all things New York Jets. I work at The Score 1260 in Syracuse and I'm extremely passionate about sports. I aspire to continue my rise through the business and hopefully I'll end up working for the New York Jets in some capacity.