Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers had an up and down first season under Matt Rhule. They were more competitive than people thought they would be, but finished the season at 5-11. Without running back Christian McCaffrey for the majority of the season, the offense had some inconsistencies.
Getting him back into the fold would help. However, Carolina is aiming higher, as in revamping the quarterback position.
Teddy Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million contract as a free agent in 2020. He had a decent season with the Panthers, but the team is now looking to move on from Bridgewater.
According to Albert Breer, via JPA Football on Twitter, the Panthers want to move on because they believe that Bridgewater has physical limitations. He also adds that the team has a legitimate interest in acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
The quarterback landscape is going to undergo a massive overhaul heading into the 2021 season. Half of the league could have a new starting quarterback than they had in 2020, and it sounds like the Panthers are going to be among them.
If they want to acquire Watson, Bridgewater will be moved on from. Here are three teams that should inquire about Bridgewater this offseason.
3. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are a logical choice for Teddy Bridgewater if they do indeed trade away Deshaun Watson. If the Panthers are who they do business with, acquiring Bridgewater in the return package makes sense because they are unlikely to land their future quarterback in this year’s draft class.
Carolina has the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. There is a chance one of the top prospects, such as Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, slip to No. 8. But with so many teams looking for a long-term answer at the quarterback spot, they cannot count on their guy being there.
Even if they find a trade partner for Watson and it lands a pick in range for someone they like enough to be their quarterback of the future, they may not want to throw them into the fire right away. Bridgewater would represent a great placeholding option, as he has shown the ability to make some plays as a starter.
Bridgewater’s contract is essentially for one more season, as there is a potential out after the 2021 season. He would represent a great one-year option for Houston under center until they find their quarterback of the future.
2. Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team was the surprise winner of the NFC East for the 2020 season. Alex Smith made a triumphant return under center after a horrifying leg injury suffered in 2018. While it was a remarkable feat, Washington could use an upgrade offensively and Teddy Bridgewater would provide that.
The WFT has been linked to numerous players this offseason. It would make sense for them to check in on the Deshaun Watson situation. They are a potential landing spot for Sam Darnold if the New York Jets move on from him as well. However, given the disaster that Dwayne Haskins was, the team could look for a veteran player to help right the ship and Bridgewater would present that.
Washington needs to add more weapons this offseason to help take some pressure off of Terry McLaurin, but an upgrade at quarterback would also help. They have a strong run game led by Antonio Gibson and a great tight end in Logan Thomas.
The pieces are in place for the offense to take a step forward this season. Adding a quarterback of Bridgewater’s ability should help them achieve that. Bridgewater, despite his shortcomings, would give Washington the surest quarterback situation currently in the NFC East.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a precarious position. The team is up against it when it comes to the salary cap. They have an icon and future Hall of Famer at the quarterback position in Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben will be back for one more season, but the Steelers should still look at potential upgrades.
Mason Rudolph has not shown enough to be the answer after Roethlisberger. Dwyane Haskins flamed out with Washington and needs some time to learn how to become an NFL quarterback. That makes someone like Teddy Bridgewater the perfect fill-in for Pittsburgh.
Bridgewater is still only 28 years old, turning 29 in November. That means he could not only fill a need for Pittsburgh as a stopgap, but if he performs well enough, he could be their answer for them at quarterback for years to come. He would be a good mentor for Haskins to learn from as well.
The cap situation for the Steelers is a sticky one. They have a ton of players that are free agents without a lot of money to spend. Fitting Bridgewater in would be tricky, but given their uncertainty at quarterback, it is something they would have to consider doing.