The New Orleans Saints have acquired Teddy Bridgewater in a trade with the New York Jets, but could he now be in line as the successor to Drew Brees?
Teddy Bridgewater’s performance throughout the 2018 preseason with the New York Jets has turned heads around the NFL. As he continued his comeback from the horrific leg injury he suffered while with the Vikings, no one truly knew what to expect when he was given ample work. As it turned out, he was more than ready. And clearly, the New Orleans Saints took notice.
Considering that the Jets selected Sam Darnold with the third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the questions about what they would do with Bridgewater have been circling all preseason. Would they trade him? Would they start him? Would they stash him behind Darnold as insurance? On Wednesday, they answered that question.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets are trading Bridgewater to the Saints in exchange for a third-round draft pick, per SI’s Michael Silver. It’s noteworthy that New Orleans is shipping off more draft capital in this deal as they already let go of their 2019 first-round pick to trade up in this year’s draft to select defensive end Marcus Davenport.
Because of that, it would appear that the trade for Bridgewater is more than just finding a viable backup for incumbent legend Drew Brees. Yes, the move is meant to do that as well. But to give up draft capital when the team is already thin in that regard signifies that it could mean something more.
When the Saints traded up in the 2018 draft to nab Davenport, many speculated they might be doing so to select the heir apparent to Brees. Obviously that wasn’t the case, but that’s a notion that has rightfully be floated around quite a bit in recent years. After all, Brees is 39 years old and the writing has been on the wall that his future in the NFL isn’t long, though there’s no certainty as to when he’ll retire.
The clear part, however, is that the Saints did not have anyone on the roster in line to succeed Brees as the starting quarterback whenever that day should come. Now, they just might in the form of Bridgewater.
Admittedly, New Orleans will likely want to see how Bridgewater looks in their system and beyond just work in preseason games with the Jets. Having said that, he’s clearly the most viable option they’ve had in house to potentially take over for Brees when he ultimately hangs up his cleats. Even after the injury, Bridgewater looks to be a viable NFL starter, even if not a superstar of Brees’ ilk.
In truth, this wasn’t the avenue many expected the Saints to use to land Brees’ heir. As stated, there has long been talk about how they could use the draft to find such a player. But regardless of how they pulled it off, they may have finally answered that question lingering over the team. Teddy Bridgewater may well be the man to take over fro Brees in New Orleans.