Should The Raiders Pursue QB Teddy Bridgewater?

Styles make fights and Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s west coast philosophy fits quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s skill set, who is an impressive (30-14) in 44 games and (22-12) as a starter in 34 games.

How about the Teddy Bridgewater show?

This past season, Bridgewater was called on to start five games in place of injured Drew Brees. His record with the Saints was a perfect 5-0, and in that stretch, he completed 133 of 196 passes, completed 67.9% of them for 1,384 yards nine touchdowns and two interceptions. One of the most impressive stats was his 99.1 QBR rating and the fact he held New Orleans down until Brees returned.

But….there is always a but. It appears the Saints view him as the odd man out after extending an open invitation to Brees to play next season while endorsing Taysom Hill as a franchise type quarterback.

Related: Like Gannon, Carr will thrive in Year 3 with Gruden

Why would the Saints be punting on Bridgewater when he obviously delivered when they needed him the most?

Pontificating on the Saints quarterback situation, Bridgewater, who earned a mere $2 million for his efforts in 2019, put up starter like numbers and results throughout a quarter of an NFL season. Currently, the Saints are $11.2/M underneath the salary cap. They won’t be able to compete with teams paying the signal-caller to start.

Hill is a swiss army-knife and the short timing route style of passing game to go along with an increase in RPO’s and Read options fit his style of play. There will be a few small tweaks, but with playmakers at the Saints disposal, it will be a smooth style transition for Sean Payton. New Orleans would like Brees to play one more year, have a transitional season with Hill, and set him up to be the guy in 2021.

In case you forgot Bridgewater’s career…

Bridgwater was drafted by the Vikings with the 32nd pick of the first round in 2014, four spots before Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. His best year was in 2015, when he went 11-5, threw for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns. That year, Minnesota fell victim to Seattle’s Legion of Boom in the playoffs. In 2016, an injury derailed his promising career and his dislocated knee cap and completely torn ACL caused the Vikings to release him.

The quarterback played against the Bears in Week 7 and actually had his second best performance of the season, going 23 of 38 for 281 yards two touchdowns and a 100.9 QBR. In comparison, Carr went 25 of 32 for 229 yards and a 96.5 QBR. In his five games during 2019, he completed 9/19 passes of 20+ yards. On the other hand, Carr completed 13/37 passes over 20+ yards for the season.

Making the Case

Bridgewater isn’t a fiery guy, but his determination and grit have been tested and proven. Last year, he was on pace for 36 touchdowns, eight interceptions and 4,428 yards. The Raiders are staring up at the Chiefs, a division rival set to play in the upcoming Super Bowl. Questions have arisen about the quarterback position and so far none of the Raiders front office has publicly named Carr the starter.

Everyone’s focus has been on Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, and Jameis Winston. Bridgewater, is a less expensive option, incapable of commanding top money, but able to get solid production. Signing Bridgewater, letting him compete for the job, or giving it to him could be the shot in the arm to get the Raiders back over the hump.

Bridgewater has never been on a team with the quality of offensive line Las Vegas has. He has had the luxury of Alvin Kamara as his running back who can do it all. He has had better receivers with Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn. He has executed in a highly complex system, which has spawned Brees into the NFL’s passing leader with 77,416 yards. Bridgewater has the mental acuity, the physical skills, and charisma with his teammates.

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