Teddy Bridgewater would never be a jet for long. The $ 6 million one-year deal he signed in March was an opportunity for both sides.
For Bridgewater it was a chance to rehabilitate his value as an NFL quarterback after a serious knee injury cast doubt on his future. For New York, it was an insurance policy for a nearly 40-year-old Josh McCown and whatever beginners they would retire in April. More importantly, the deal also provided them with a potential trading chip should the former Pro Bowler return during the preseason.
When McCown and # 3 of the Sam Darnold standings met expectations this preseason, Bridgewater hit the market. On Wednesday, he was sent back to the NFC, along with a six-round in a deal with the New Orleans Saints, who pick the Jets 201
Everyone wins on the surface; New York gets some capital to improve the recovery plan. New Orleans receives a proven backup and fascinating future option behind an aging Drew Brees. Bridgewater moves from third string with a fighting team to a second team with a Super Bowl contender.
But was it the best the jets could do?
The Jets took a safe cause, instead of waiting for injuries a seller's market
New York threw a one-year free-agent deal under the radar, which should be a late-election in the third round. In other words, Bridgewater will cost the team $ 500,000 at Cap Square in exchange for a Day 2 pick. By comparison, the Browns cost $ 16 million in cap room (and a preseason from Brock Osweiler's appearances) to steal the Texans' second round in 2017. For the jets, this is a solid return for a player who is not in the team's best plans for 2018 or beyond.
And it could have gotten better if the jets were ready to wait. History has shown that seasoned starters command high prices when NFL teams are thrown into the river by a significant quarterback injury. Nobody understands this better than Bridgewater.
In 2016, his dislocated knee threw a punch in the Vikings' playoff plans, forcing the team to look for a replacement. Instead of relying on the journeyman Shaun Hill as a starter, Minnesota paid heavily to bring Sam Bradford north, sending the first and fourth rounds to the Eagles for a player with experience and a troubling injury story. Bradford was a player who, like Bridgewater, was not crucial in his offensive but had a short-term deal – a much more expensive two-year pact of $ 36 million in Bradford's case.
The deal has worked for both sides, but the Eagles are ready to reap the long-term benefits. The Vikings' first choice was Derek Barnett, a key piece in the Eagles Super Bowl 52's victory as a rookie. The fourth round, Josh Sweat, has an explosive potential as a pass ranger, but has not yet played for Philadelphia. The trade also cleared the runway for Carson Wentz to become the club's starting QB; In 2017, he emerged as MVP leader before a tattered ACL cut his second season.
We again saw a QB increase in 2017 due to injury, but not quite so much. New England was able to send its third-tier quarterback to Indianapolis when it became clear that Andrew Luck would miss a long time. The Patriots received in return the former first-round selection and the current complaint project of Josh McDaniels, Phillip Dorsett. Miami decided to switch to the free-agent market instead of making a trade when Ryan Tannehill ripped his ACL. For their money – $ 10 million guaranteed and incentives worth up to $ 3 million – the Dolphins received 14 launches from Jay Cutler and the League's least-convincing Wildcat receivers.
As bad as it sounds, there is reason to believe that a big quarterback injury will happen again before the 30th of December. Last year, six starters suffered injuries that left them missing a significant period before week 9 – Luck, Tannehill, Bradford, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Carson Palmer. Three of these passers-by played for teams that made the post-season 2016; none of them returned to the playoffs in 2017
A similar run would have pushed Bridgewater's award to Bradford-esque numbers. The jets just had to wait for a playoff contender to despair enough to pay it.
But a Robust Market Never Developed for Bridgewater
Bridgewater performed well this preseason to calm some of the doubts as he & # 39; Perform d on his surgically repaired leg. He not only completed 73.7 percent of his passes for an efficient 8.3 yards per pass and a 104.7 QB rating, but he also put pressure on his knee without getting in the way of his rehabilitation knee:
Teddy Bridgewater Passer Rating Under Pressure So far this preseason is at 136.
This is not bad for a guy who had to worry about how he would react when the bodies were flying around the surgically repaired knee.
– Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) August 28, 2018
That was great for the Jets. The only problem was that the demand for a player like Bridgewater did not reach the level of his performance. This year's preseason was relentlessly friendly to quarterbacks, and it is unlikely that the starters will make many hard repetitions before the start of the season. The chances of a passerby suffering an injury like Bridgewater or Tannehill before the start of the 2018 season are extremely low.
Other factors have weakened Bridgewater's trading value. Many teams looking for potential franchise quarterbacks found them in April. The NFL Draft made five new first-quarterbacks into the league, including the man who received the launch of the Jets & # 1; Week 1 after trading with Bridgewater.
Franchisees looking for backups could find them relatively cheap in the off-season. The Packers brought Deanshone Kizer from the Browns preliminary round (and the second round of 2017) to Green Bay in exchange for cornerback Damarious Randall and then sent Brett Hundley to Seattle to make a selection next year. The acquisition of Kevin Hogan cost Washington only an exchange of sixth-graders. Trevor Siemian (and a Broncos seventh year) came to Minnesota in exchange for a fifth grader.
And there will be more movement when the calendar turns to September. Players like Paxton Lynch, Joshua Dobbs, Cardale Jones and Robert Griffin III could all be victims of the League Cut-Down Day. While none of these players have the value of Bridgewater-not yet a starter, but better than the average backup-their availability has almost certainly made it harder for teams to trade future capital for a backup to a one-year deal. 19659022] Trading Is a Healthy, Though Not Exciting Investment for New York
Bridgewater may have commanded a future first-round pick in the right deal from a desperate contender, but many chips would have had to fall in the jets' favor to get there New York bought a low price on a reclamation project and then watched the stockpiles rise through the training camp and preseason, and Bridgewater did his utmost to regain his status, but his value with the Jets finally stopped playing elsewhere. 19659023] In a world where Jimmy Garoppolo was caught for the cost of a second round, a quarterback sent months ago For a single-season deal for a third king is a great value as the jets could have gambled and hoped for more – but Given their luck lately, it's understandable why they have a guaranteed return rather than waiting for an unpredictable market.