Teddy Bridgewater's Future in Carolina

What will happen to Bridgewater after the Darnold trade?
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Teddy's time is ticking in Charlotte.

After trading for former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, the Panthers made it almost certain that they will be moving on from Teddy Bridgewater in the near future. Carolina traded away this year's sixth-round pick as well as a second and fourth rounder in next year's draft. 

It seems as though Darnold is the young quarterback Carolina will be rolling with in 2021, but Scott Fitterer also stated that the team could still address the quarterback position in this year's draft.

Based on the Darnold move as well as Fitterer suggesting that the Panthers might not be done with addressing their quarterback situation, it leads many to question where that leaves Teddy Bridgewater. Scott Fitterer stated that "(The Panthers) are going to find the right place for him, whether it's here or someplace else." This heavily implies that it's likely for everyone to expect to see Bridgewater in a jersey that isn't black and blue this season.

What are Bridgewater's options? 

The Panthers allowed the 28-year-old quarterback to seek a trade from other teams, but we saw how that worked out for Cam Newton in the long run. Bridgewater will make $10 million guaranteed and $7 million non-guaranteed in 2021. While it might not seem like much for a starting quarterback, his contract may turn teams away from him based on his mediocre performance level in comparison. 

Bridgewater would have to restructure his contract in order for other teams to facilitate realistic trade offers, but would he want to take less money from a franchise that has blatantly decided to move on from him? It might not seem likely on paper, but restructuring could benefit him in the long term. Teams such as the Broncos, Saints, Patriots, and 49ers are still experimenting at quarterback, so a trade with one of them could make sense if he accepts a lower price tag.

If a trade doesn't work out, the Panthers could always cut Bridgewater, which is exactly what they did with Cam Newton last year.

Doing so wouldn't create an ideal situation for either party since Bridgewater may have trouble finding a team and Carolina would have to eat a $10 million cap hit. Fitterer made it clear that the Panthers will try to help Bridgewater receive the best deal for what he's worth, but at the end of the day, the general manager's top priority is going to be the organization. We will see how this saga unfolds as the 2021 offseason continues in Carolina. 

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