The New York Jets are open to trading the redemption-seeking thrower, but will first need to showcase him this preseason to potential buyers.
Teddy Bridgewater’s New York Jets tenure could end before it ever truly begins.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that the Jets are open to trading the quarterback, but will need to showcase him during the team’s upcoming preseason slate. The Jets open the exhibition portion of their schedule on Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons at home (7:30 p.m., WCBS).
While Bridgewater, 25, has proven to be a strong NFL quarterback in the past, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2015, potential trade partners need to see if his surgically repaired knee will hold up against contact. A 2014 first-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater’s promising NFL career took an unfortunate turn in the summer of 2016, when he suffered a non-contact injury that cost him the entirety of the ensuing season.
Bridgewater returned to the team’s active roster in November, but the eventual NFC North champion Vikings stuck with free agent addition Case Keenum at quarterback. He made a long-awaited return to the field in a December blowout against Cincinnati, where, despite throwing an interception, he was welcomed with a standing ovation by Vikings fans at US Bank Stadium.
Signer of a one-year deal back in March, one that makes him a $6 million cap hit, Bridgewater is currently engaged in a three-man chase for the Jets’ Week 1 starting job alongside seasoned veteran Josh McCown and 2018’s third overall draft pick Sam Darnold. Combined, the trio would be a cap hit of just over $21 million, but the Jets could be open to a trade, provided, of course, Bridgewater holds up during their summer quartet.
“Any time you have a number of players that you like at a position, it’s a natural thing (to think), ‘Hey, they may have a, I’m not saying we have a surplus, but some teams carry two quarterbacks,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said, according to Mehta. “(So) you have the ability to potentially (think), ‘Oh, hypothetically we could do that.’”
Grateful for the mere opportunity to be back on an NFL practice field, Bridgewater shook off any trade talk.
“You control what you can control. For me, it is coming to work every day and putting forth my best effort, leading my group up and down the field, throwing completions and getting us in and out of the right plays,” he said. “That is what I look forward to right now. Everything else will take care of itself. Right now, I have to live in the moment and trust the process.”
According to Mehta, Bridgewater and Darnold are expected to get the lion’s share of snaps against the Falcons on Friday.