Why it’s hard to believe Matt Rhule on Teddy Bridgewater’s future

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /
2 of 3
Teddy Bridgewater
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Why it’s tough to believe Matt Rhule

There was probably a collective eye-roll among the loyal fanbase of the Carolina Panthers when Matt Rhule declared that Teddy Bridgewater was their quarterback.

Why? Because they’ve heard it all before.

One only has to look at last season when Rhule took the job to see that. Cam Newton was the hot topic of discussion back then and it was hard to come to any conclusion other than he’d be the day one starter in Carolina judging by the head coach’s initial comments.

"“From my perspective, I’m unbelievably excited to get to work with Cam. Coming from the outside, you kind of know as a fan, but just on a personal note getting to know him, he is a diligent guy. He’s working so hard both in Atlanta and in Carolina to get himself healthy. I’m excited to get him healthy. Obviously, that’s the number one goal for us. He’s doing a great job of doing his part. We have to make sure we’re doing our part as we try to get him healthy for the 2020 season.”"

We all know what happened after that. The Panthers signed Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed, showing Newton the door late in free agency when there were few starting chances elsewhere.

A decision they’d probably like to have back, in hindsight.

Rhule was always going to come out in support of Bridgewater, for whom he has a tremendous amount of respect after all he’s been through.

Hanging him out to dry would do more harm than good if he is actually on the roster by OTAs. It could also jeopardize trade value if the Panthers eventually went in this direction for a second time following their failed attempt to get Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions.

It is still early in the offseason and a lot can happen between now and when competitive action begins in 2021. So this could be another case of the Rhule kiss of death when it’s all said and done.