Teddy Bridgewater’s 4-year journey from leg injury to Panthers starter

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints solved their backup issue by making the surprising move to trade for Teddy Bridgewater just prior to the 2018 campaign. They gave up a third-round pick for the signal-caller and a fifth-rounder to secure his services. And this raised more than a few eyebrows across the NFL.

This ended up being a tremendous fit for Bridgewater. He was an instant hit with his teammates on his way to becoming a vibrant presence within the locker room. It also enabled the player to learn from one of the greatest to ever do it in Drew Brees.

There was no way Bridgewater was ever going to challenge Brees for the No. 1 spot. But the Saints did need a long-term plan for when the influential figure eventually decided to call it a day.

Bridgewater was a prime candidate for this providing he performed well and continued to show the knee trouble was behind him. He started one game in 2018, completing 14 of 23 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Another milestone checked off the list with his first score since the injury.

Opportunity truly knocked for Bridgewater in 2019 when Brees was forced to miss five games through injury. This thrust the backup into the spotlight as a starter on a Super Bowl contender and it is fair to say he thrived with this responsibility.

His composure in the pocket was exemplary and was a primary factor in Bridgewater securing a 5-0 starter. He completed 67.9 percent of his passes, threw for 1,394 yards, nine touchdowns, two interceptions, and secured a creditable 73.0 grade from Pro Football Focus.

This was all the Carolina Panthers needed to see. And they made Bridgewater an offer he could not refuse in free agency.