Heading into the 2018 NFL season, former Louisville Cardinals standout, Teddy Bridgewater, will be preparing to compete for the starting quarterback job in New York. The Jets signed Bridgewater this offseason to a one-year deal; however, there hasn’t been any inclination whether or not he’ll be the team’s starter come September.
Even with some NFL experience under-his-belt, Bridgewater’s one-year deal with the Jets proves New York isn’t completely sold on his ability to play at a high-level moving forward. Not to mention, when you throw his major knee injury into the mix from 2016, it makes sense that people are approaching Bridgewater’s future with caution.
While past injuries are never true indicators of a player’s future; unfortunately, this is the situation Bridgewater currently finds himself in.
As the 2018 NFL Draft rapidly approaches, all eyes will be on what the Jets decide to do with their first round selection. New York currently holds the third overall pick after a trade with the Indianapolis Colts last month, which means they are in great position to add one of college football’s elite playmakers.
Still, the biggest question mark surrounding their selection is this: Will the Jets use their high positioning to draft a young quarterback or will they decide to move in another direction? In either case, this upcoming decision for New York’s front-office will impact Bridgewater’s future in the Big Apple tremendously.
What makes me nervous for Bridgewater, more than anything else, is that the Jets gave the Colts four different picks to only move up three spots. This tells me New York knows exactly who they’re targeting later this month and will do anything to acquire that player. Needless to say, if that player ends up being a quarterback, it’ll mean the Jets are banking on him becoming the face of their franchise.
Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater could get some snaps in September, but before the 2018 season is said and done, the fans and media in New York will want to see their new quarterback on the field. As Louisville fans, we may not necessarily agree with it, but that’s the nature of professional football these days.
Who knows, maybe New York will surprise us all and draft a player like Bradley Chubb from NC State or Saquon Barkley from Penn State? If that happens, it’ll be a huge win for Teddy heading into the summer.
That would give Bridgewater a chance to prove his worth to the Jets coaching staff in training camp and hopefully, earn the starting gig by Week One. Bridgewater will definitely have a tough task of winning in the AFC East this season with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots across the field, but at least he’ll be the guy under center for a team who had the opportunity to select the talents of Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, or Lamar Jackson.
Heck, I’m sure a vote-of-confidence would mean everything to a player who experienced a catastrophic knee injury and had to leave the team who drafted him. Obviously, I can’t predict who the Jets will draft later this month, but I do know a few facts about Bridgewater: He’s one heck of a competitor, a great representative for the city of Louisville, and deserves another shot of becoming a franchise quarterback in the NFL.