Former Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater earns another shot at redemption

(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been given one more shot at proving his worth as an NFL starter in 2021.

Just when all hope seemed lost for Teddy Bridgewater, the former Carolina Panthers signal-caller gets one more shot to prove his worth as a successful NFL starter.

After a tense training camp battle with Drew Lock, the Denver Broncos declared Bridgewater as their Week 1 starter after what can only be described as an impressive preseason overall from the former first-round pick.

This was the main battle where Bridgewater was concerned. His unceremonious departure from the Panthers one day before the 2021 NFL Draft for a sixth-round pick left a sour taste in the mouth, with the player criticizing Carolina’s practice methods in the immediate wake of his departure.

Whether that was sour grapes or not is a moot point now. Bridgewater is QB1 in Denver and is aiming to make a better go of things with some eye-catching talent around him.

The Broncos were clearly keen on acquiring Aaron Rodgers before he patched things up with the Green Bay Packers. Deshaun Watson’s situation is something else they’re probably monitoring closely as those in power have clearly decided Lock is not the long-term solution to their problem.

However, if Bridgewater performs under center, it gives him a fighting chance of earning an extended stay beyond this season.

Carolina Panthers moved on very quickly from Teddy Bridgewater.

Coming to the Panthers was a tough ask for Bridgewater. Especially considering there wasn’t a normal preparation period to get ready and the organization removed iconic signal-caller Cam Newton from the equation to make room for last year’s marquee free-agent signing.

Bridgewater was tentative getting the football downfield and although there were mitigating factors such as pass protection, no Christian McCaffrey for 13 games, naive play-calling, red-zone struggles, and third-down complications on both sides of the ball, the buck normally stops with the quarterback.

Which proved to be the case once again in this instance.

Just how much blame can be put on Bridgewater for the team’s failings in 2020 is up for debate. But the Panthers weren’t going to wait around on the off chance he managed to raise his game in Year 2 on the team.

An aggressive search for a potential upgrade ended with a trade for Sam Darnold from the New York Jets. Another huge gamble for the organization and one that could go either way.

Carolina is on the hook for a $17 million dead-cap figure where Bridgewater is concerned this season. If Darnold doesn’t pan out as expected, there will be more than a few casting their doubts on the current decision-making process at the most important position on the field.

Bridgewater is fortunate to be playing football at all after almost losing his leg when primed for a Super Bowl run with the Minnesota Vikings. Responding to adversity is nothing new to the Louisville product, but this does appear to be his final chance of holding down a starting job.

Looking back is never smart, both in football and throughout life in general.

light. Must Read. 5 draft snubs haunting the Carolina Panthers after Greg Little trade

The Panthers and Bridgewater went their separate ways for good or bad. Only time will tell as to whether or not this was the right call to make now the veteran has earned one more shot at redemption.