Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Schefter reported that in addition to Bridgewater, the Jets are sending a sixth-round pick to the Saints in exchange for a third-round pick. Mike Garafolo noted the Jets essentially turned $1 million into a third-rounder, while the Cleveland Browns paid $16 million for a second-round selection in 2017 in the Brock Osweiler deal.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, news of the trade came as Bridgewater was traveling with his Jets teammates:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
Crazy scene: #Jets players were on the bus when they stopped, told Teddy Bridgewater he’d been traded, he waved goodbye, then they drove off, source said. Bridgewater headed to the #Saints. Wild.
New York signed Bridgewater to a one-year contract in March. The team’s depth chart at the position started to become overcrowded when it selected Sam Darnold in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, though.
Bridgewater emerged as a reliable starter for Minnesota across his first two seasons after the Vikings selected him 32nd overall in 2014.
He completed 64.9 percent of his throws for 6,150 yards with 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions across 29 appearances. He added 401 rushing yards and four scores on the ground.
The 25-year-old Miami native, who earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2015, suffered a devastating setback with multiple injuries to his left knee in August 2016. He missed the entire season and didn’t return until Week 15 last year after completing the extended rehab process.
Bridgewater expressed optimism about returning to peak form after signing with the Jets.
“I’m very confident,” he told reporters. “I’m confident in myself, confident in the athletic training staff and the coaching staff here that they can eventually get me back to the player I once was.”
He provided further reason for that outlook with a 104.7 passer rating in the 2018 preseason.
Ultimately, it became clear the Jets would have to shake up the quarterback room after drafting Darnold at No. 3 overall. They were able to get a return for Bridgewater, who’s seeking to show he can still play a meaningful role in the NFL.
He will slot in as the backup behind Drew Brees. New Orleans may even envision Bridgewater as Brees’ long-term successor.
Brees turned 39 in January and signed a three-year extension in March. The third year automatically voids in March 2020, though, so New Orleans may need a new quarterback heading into the 2020 campaign.
In the short term, Bridgewater at least provides great depth behind Brees should the 11-time Pro Bowler have to miss any time because of injury.