The Denver Broncos have traded with the Carolina Panthers to acquire veteran QB Teddy Bridgewater for a 6th round pick. Carolina will pay a portion of Bridgewater’s 2021 compensation as part of a restructured contract to finalize the deal to Denver, which now has competition for Drew Lock and a possible QB selection at number 9 overall.
This trade was rumored to happen ever since the Panthers traded for QB Sam Darnold from the Jets, with the only thing keeping it from happening being the financial situation regarding Bridgewater. Bridgewater signed a big deal with the Panthers in the 2020 offseason but things did not work out. With the Panthers looking to move on from Bridgewater, they were looking for ways to dump his contract, but as expected, no teams wanted to pick that up.
With the draft being one day away, the Panthers appeared to have given up on trying to work out of Bridgewater’s contract and cut their losses.
After finally being able to complete a trade with the Broncos, the Broncos will pay Bridgewater $3 million with the Panthers pay $7 million in converted bonus. This might be a little more for Bridgewater when all said and done, but he’s essentially on one-year deal with Denver, making him a very cheap addition.
With the start of the 2021 NFL draft a day away, the Broncos may be the most confusing and difficult team to predict, and this Bridgewater trade has only solidified that belief.
NFL insiders around the league have already reported this does not necessarily mean the Broncos will not be drafting a quarterback. There is a belief that Bridgewater may have been brought in to be the “bridge QB” for an incoming rookie. On the other hand, there are reports saying Bridgewater is coming in to compete to be the starter with the incumbent Drew Lock, right off the bat.
Predictions from draft experts and insiders have been all over the place which is exactly what I think Broncos GM George Paton wanted. If nobody knows what you are going to do, you are at an extreme advantage.
After completing the trade for Bridgewater, teams looking at drafting a quarterback who are currently positioned behind the Broncos in the draft order may be much more reluctant to trade up, thinking there’s a good chance the Broncos pass on a quarterback. In this scenario, the Broncos might ultimately get exactly what they want as a QB such as Trey Lance or Justin Fields may fall directly into their laps at pick number 9. This would be a genius move by George Paton.
After acquiring a veteran to compete with Lock the Broncos won’t be forced into taking a QB, allowing them to really do anything they want at pick number 9 now, whether they want to trade up, stay put, or trade back.
For now, all we can do is wait and see.
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