Teddy Two-Gloves is once again headed to a new team.
The Carolina Panthers are shipping their 2020 starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, to the Denver Broncos in a trade that will net the Panthers a sixth-round draft choice in Thursday’s 2021 NFL Draft, the teams announced on Wednesday. The sixth-rounder supplied to the Panthers by the Broncos will be the No. 191 overall pick.
While the Panthers will still have to pay $7 million of Bridgewater’s salary for the upcoming season, the Broncos just need to pay their new addition $3 million, an important concession for the Broncos to make this deal happen, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
If you thought that this would take the Broncos out of the running to take a signal caller with the No. 9 overall pick in this quarterback-heavy class, think again. Despite now having Bridgewater and 2020 starter Drew Lock in the quarterback room, the Broncos could still be in the market for a rookie QB at No. 9, a source told ESPN.
Broncos general manager George Paton has been active attending the workouts and pro days of the top quarterbacks in the class and had team representatives at the second pro days of North Dakota’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. He released a statement regarding the acquisition of Bridgewater on Wednesday.
“Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room,” Paton said. “He’s a talented player and leader who’s had success in this league in a number of different situations.”
It isn’t often that two teams that are drafting one after the other in the top 10 (Carolina at No. 8, Denver at No. 9) make a trade this close to the draft that didn’t include their top picks, but here we are.
This trade doesn’t shake the NFL world and neither of these teams are expected to do much this season unless they land a rookie that far exceeds expectations. On 888sport, the Broncos are ranked last with +1,400 NFL odds to win their division. The Panthers are third on the NFC South table, with +750 NFL odds to win their division.
Considering the Broncos play in Patrick Mahomes’ division and the Panthers in that of Tom Brady, we would suggest staying away from both of those numbers.
In Bridgewater, Paton gets a known entity, as he was the assistant general manager with the Minnesota Vikings when they drafted Teddy Two-Gloves into the league with the 32nd pick back in 2014. He went 17-11 overall with the team, including a division title in 2015 in his sophomore season.
“Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he’s going to compete and do everything he can to help us win,” Paton said.
His career with the Vikings was cut short by a gruesome leg injury before the 2016 season, and he would not complete another pass in the purple and gold after that. He didn’t play for what amounted to two seasons, but came back with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 and 2019 to show that he could still play at this level.
Last season he was given the reins in Carolina, and while he had a solid campaign, going for career-highs in completion percentage (69.1), passing yards (3,733), passing touchdowns (15), rushing yards (279), and rushing touchdowns (5), he wasn’t able to make the late-game plays the team needed, dropping eight games by one score or less last season.
He’ll join a quarterback room in Denver that already has Lock, who had a decent season himself in 2020. He did lead the league with 15 interceptions, but he also threw 16 touchdowns and showed a lot more promise in the final month of the season after going through a rough start to the campaign.
Bridgewater’s time in Carolina had seemingly come to an end when, earlier this month, the team traded for former top five pick Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Darnold had arguably a much worse season last year than Bridgewater, so it must be some misplaced sense that Darnold’s ceiling is higher than Teddy’s.
Smart money says that the Panthers are about to get the same rude awakening concerning that notion as the Jets did when they wasted a No. 3 overall pick on him in 2018.
Teddy has put together a 26-23 overall record as a starter in his career even after that 4-11 campaign last season, so the guy clearly knows how to win and could very well supplant Lock as the bridge quarterback for whoever Paton and company end up drafting with the No. 9 overall pick on Thursday night.
Denver could definitely use a little jolt into their quarterback room: According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Broncos have had the league’s lowest Total QBR (45.2) since 2015, when they won Super Bowl 50. They have not been to the playoffs again since that triumph. Could Fields, Lance, or another young gunslinger bring an end to this run of crummy quarterback play?