Now that Sam Darnold is in the mix at the quarterback position, the Carolina Panthers will have to decide what to do with veteran incumbent QB, Teddy Bridgewater.
The Panthers acquired the 23-year old QB from the New York Jets earlier this week, in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick, and fourth- and sixth-rounders in this year’s draft.
Carolina gave Bridgewater permission to seek a trade after the Darnold acquisition, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Following the trade for Sam Darnold, the #Panthers spoke with QB Teddy Bridgewater and allowed him the opportunity to talk with teams to potentially facilitate a trade, sources say. Carolina is open to Bridgewater returning, but will give him a chance to have a say in his future.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2021
He signed a three-year, $63 million deal with Carolina in 2020 that comes with a $23 million cap hit in 2021 and $26 million in 2022. There is a potential out after two years. Bridgewater would need to be willing to renegotiate his deal in order to help facilitate a trade.
According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, Bridgewater is willing to take a pay cut. If he doesn’t, the Panthers can cut him before the start of the season. As a result, multiple teams are reportedly interested in trading for Teddy Two Gloves. The Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots are known to be in the QB market.
Bridgewater, 28, went 4-11 in 15 games as the starter in his one season in Carolina. He threw 15 touchdowns against 11 interceptions and posted a 92.1 QB rating.
The Panthers are hoping to resuscitate Darnold’s career after he spent the past two years playing for Adam Gase in a less-than-ideal situation. Carolina head coach Matt Rhule — who was a bit of a quarterback whisperer at Baylor — was nearly hired by the Jets in 2019. Two years later, he’ll get his chance to oversee Darnold’s development.
The Panthers are expected to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, which will cost about $18.9 million.
Darnold, the former no. 3 overall pick, struggled in three seasons in New York. He threw 45 TDs and 39 picks with a 78.6 career QB rating and 13-25 overall record as a starter. This past season, he tossed nine TDs in 12 games.
Bridgewater has an 89.5 QB rating and 26-23 record across 49 starts for the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, and Panthers.