Can Teddy Bridgewater respond to Matt Rhule’s challenge?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Can Teddy Bridgewater rise to the challenge?

Overcoming difficulty is something Teddy Bridgewater worked hard to achieve when a freak training camp injury with the Minnesota Vikings threatened his career. It’s been a long road back to a starting spot – which he hadn’t occupied since 2015 before this season – so the player’s determination and desire should never be questioned.

His limitations are there for all to see. The Carolina Panthers were fully aware of this when they penned Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed this offseason, which doesn’t appear to be the smartest contract ever given out by recently fired general manager Marty Hurney.

It would be a huge shock if Carolina didn’t bring in additional competition for the quarterback position either during free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft. But given the nature of Bridgewater’s deal, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be moved on after just one season with the organization.

This might be a different story in 2022.

And what comes next will be down to the player.

Hopefully, the Panthers will get better protection from their offensive line with some additional reinforcements. And there is also the potential of getting Christian McCaffrey back fit and firing on all cylinders for another welcome boost.

The size of the task awaiting Bridgewater is a steep one. A period of rest and reflection will be welcomed by the signal-caller and even though the decision could be taken out of his hands, he should be chomping at the bit to right some wrongs when Carolina returns for OTAs.