There will be no excuses for Teddy Bridgewater as he looks to make another go at starting in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers in 2020.
The story surrounding Teddy Bridgewater is an inspirational one. But the NFL is an unforgiving place and now is the time to deliver.
The new Carolina Panthers quarterback almost lost his leg and career following a serious knee injury sustained during a Minnesota Vikings practice. This involved a significant period of rehab and after impressing under center for the New Orleans Saints in 2019, Bridgewater secured a big-money contract in free agency.
Carolina not only gave Bridgewater a three-year, $63 million deal that included a $15 million signing bonus and a further $33 million guaranteed. The front office has also done a good job of putting some playmakers around the signal-caller to give him the best possible chance to succeed.
Few would argue that the former first-round pick out of Louisville is deserving of the opportunity after securing a 99.1 passer rating for the Saints in 2019. He was given a respectable 73 rating by Pro Football Focus and went 5-0 in the absence of veteran gunslinger Drew Brees.
Expectations will not be as high in Carolina. But that doesn’t mean Bridgewater does not have to produce the goods in his first season.
If things don’t go according to plan, then the Panthers might decide to look at the elite prospects coming through the college ranks as a more viable long-term solution. The likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance all have enormous potential and should be enough to bring a sense of urgency to Bridgewater’s play.
The Panthers offense looks loaded with talent, so this leaves the onus on Bridgewater to prove he was worth such a large financial investment.