The Carolina Panthers have signed free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal. Is this the right move for the rebuilding Panthers?
The Carolina Panthers have signed former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal worth roughly $20 million annually. He is expected to be their starter in 2020, as the Panthers have put Cam Newton on the trading block. Carolina is clearly rebuilding under new head coach Matt Rhule, but did the Panthers make the right decision here?
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman assessed the Bridgewater deal to the Panthers and try to understand what Carolina is trying to do here. Do they believe Bridgewater is a long-term solution at the quarterback position or is he just an expensive stop-gap starter on a multi-year deal (19:14)?
Carman likes the deal because Bridgewater has been a good quarterback in this league when he’s healthy, winning five games backing up Drew Brees last year in New Orleans and during his initial run with the Minnesota Vikings before his gruesome knee injury a week before the start of the 2016 NFL season. $20 million annually for a mature guy who brings in stability isn’t a bad move.
Verderame views Bridgewater in the vein of an Alex Smith. He’s a good quarterback, but you’re always wanting more than what the guy can provide from the position. If Bridgewater ends up becoming the guy in Carolina, the Panthers have their new franchise quarterback. Should Carolina struggle next season, the Panthers will be in position to take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Overall, Carolina projects as the fourth-place team in the NFC South again behind the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in some order. Bridgewater is the fourth-best quarterback in the division firmly behind Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and newcomer Tom Brady. He’s fine, but he’s not a Hall of Famer like the three others in the division.
Ultimately, Bridgewater is the perfect bridge quarterback to move off Newton and draft someone at the top of the first round next season. Trevor Lawrence of the Clemson Tigers and Justin Fields of the Ohio State Buckeyes would be outstanding quarterbacks for the Panthers to draft in 2021. For now, we have to like the Bridgewater deal for what it is, especially after Newton is traded.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- Tom Brady leaves New England Patriots (0:45)
- Coronavirus talk (21:35)
- What are the Dallas Cowboys doing? (32:20)
- Kirk Cousins screwed by the Minnesota Vikings? (38:25)
All this and more!