Teddy Bridgewater’s career has been a unique one, to say the least. He was picked in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings to be their franchise quarterback. For two years, that appeared to be the case. Bridgewater played at an above average level, making it to the Pro Bowl in 2015 with 3,231 passing yards, 17 total touchdowns and nine interceptions.
This all came to a screeching halt however when Bridgewater suffered a nearly career-ending knee injury during the 2016 offseason. This would leave him without the ability to play for almost two full seasons.
On August 29, 2018, after making a full recovery, Bridgewater was traded to the New Orleans Saints. Now he has the chance to be the successor to Drew Brees, and this is why it will happen:
1) His preseason has been unbelievable
Teddy Bridgewater has debatably had the single best preseason by a third-string quarterback ever. In three games, playing in about one quarter each, he has thrown for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns (plus an unfortunate interception on a 50/50 throw). Perhaps most astounding, however, is his completion percentage: 73.7%. That does not sound like the numbers of a backup quarterback.
His ability to extend plays has also been on full display, repeatedly dodging sacks and making plays with his legs. In every game, he has been able to face pressure and effectively make tough throws while showing no fear in the pocket. He mechanical skills and technique are as crisp as they were in 2015, if not better.
2) He is only 25 years old
For reference, that is the same age as Carson Wentz, the rising star quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Teddy Bridgewater has yet to reach his prime. Quarterbacks often do not reach their best years until they are almost 30, and if Drew Brees were to retire at the end of his two-year contract, Teddy would claim the starting role at only 27 years old. That still gives him plenty of time to develop his game and get even better than he already is.
3) Drew Brees is not getting any younger
It is not news to anyone that Drew Brees had a significant decline in production last year. He is still a phenomenal, Super Bowl-ready quarterback, but there is no guarantee the same will be said in two years. The upcoming draft class is not nearly as rich with quarterback talent as this past class, so it is unreasonable to think the Saints would draft Brees’ replacement this year. After that, there would be no time for Brees to mentor a young quarterback, so the Saints would have to put their faith in an unproven rookie.
Why take that risk when you have a proven quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater? New Orleans knows exactly what they can get out of Bridgewater and can begin building around him as early as 2019. This would make the quarterback transition as smooth as possible, giving New Orleans a clear path to maintaining their status as a perennial contender in the NFL.
4) Teddy will fit in the offense… eventually
The Saints have already began transitioning to a more run-heavy offense with Mark Ingram and Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara leading the team. In the past, the team has had to rely on the pinpoint accuracy of Drew Brees. Now, with a dominant rushing attack, a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater can thrive on defenses that are forced to prepare for the run. Perhaps with the addition of a young tight end and another receiving threat, the New Orleans offense will appear as deadly as it ever was.
One might ask, is this really New Orleans’ plan? Will Bridgewater have the durability to sustain a lengthy career? Will he be able to continue his path of progression and pick up where he left off? Only one thing is for sure…
Weirder things have happened.