The New York Jets are heading into the offseason with a major need at the quarterback position. Josh McCown was solid in 2017, but he is 38-years-old and simply isn’t their future. While he could return for one more season in New York, the Jets need to search for a younger quarterback that could be a long-term option.
If the Jets do decide to look for a long-term option, they could choose to target a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. There are quite a few names that they could consider in this class. Should they choose to go a different direction, there is one free agent that could be a perfect fit.
Teddy Bridgewater was considered one of the league’s top up-and-coming quarterbacks just a few short years ago. Unfortunately, a gruesome leg injury derailed his career in a big way. Now, his time with the Minnesota Vikings appears to be coming to an end unless they offer him a starting job, which doesn’t seem likely at this point in time.
Not only could the Jets offer Bridgewater a starting job, they can offer him a fair deal. Staying away from overpaying Kirk Cousins would be a wise decision for the Jets. There may be some risk with signing Bridgewater, but he has a clean bill of health and his passion for the game has not changed one bit.
Bridgewater is still very confident in his ability and firmly believes that he will be a starter in 2018. He talked about that belief and desire in a recent interview, as noted by 247 Sports.
Report: Teddy Bridgewater expected to be a free agent https://t.co/Khcavc4jzd— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 27, 2018
Last season was a rough year for Bridgewater, as he had to sit on the sidelines and watch Sam Bradford and then Case Keenum start. He was cleared towards the end of the season and played a few snaps, throwing two incomplete passes, with one of them being an interception.
At 26 years of age, there is still plenty of time for Bridgewater to get his career back on track. His leg injury is behind him and he is ready to become an NFL starter once again. No one can deny the star potential that he showed in his first two seasons with the Vikings.
Back in 2015, Bridgewater completed 65.3 percent of his pass attempts for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also scored three touchdowns on the ground.
While he has not had a superstar season from a numbers perspective, many thought he would reach that goal in 2016 before his injury. There is no denying his arm strength and his ability to make plays, although his decision-making and accuracy have been questioned at times.
Despite the few concerns that some have had with Bridgewater throughout his young career, the potential that he possesses is through the roof. He would be the most talented quarterback that the Jets have had under center in years.
Spotrac.com currently projects Bridgewater’s market value at around $10.9 million. That price may be a bit high, but the Jets would be wise to go with that price rather than bidding for Cousins. Saving the extra $20 million that it might take to get Cousins would allow the Jets to upgrade quite a few other positions.
All of that being said, it will be interesting to see which teams have interest in Bridgewater when free agency opens up. Some other potential destinations could include the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants.
While those teams could be solid landing spots, the Jets might just present the best opportunity for Bridgewater.