Teddy B’s Willingness To Sit Behind Drew Brees Is A Gamble Worth Taking

Teddy Bridgewater sits now in hopes of ruling Who Dat Nation later.

The Teddy Bridgewater saga continues and a full season after returning from a debilitating, career-threatening knee injury, the former Minnesota Vikings starter is returning to New Orleans as a backup to Drew Brees.

The move is a positive one, considering how far Bridgewater has come since wrecking his knee. He’s built a family in New Orleans.

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At the same time, it’s messed up that Teddy B — who is just 26-year-old and proved in his stint with the Jets that he has the health to lead a team again —  has to wait until the old veteran decides he wants to hang it up.

Before Bridgewater’s knee exploded in a non-contact injury back in 2016, the former Louisville great was coming off a sophomore NFL season with the surging Minnesota Vikings in which he showed improvement in passing accuracy and poise.

His 65.3 completion percentage was the best in NFL history for any player under 25 years old.

He missed all of 2016 and 2017 rehabbing, and some critics said that he might never play again, but he did. Now, he deserves to start. 

Former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma told TMZ sports says Brees isn’t looking forward to relinquishing the job any time in the future.

“I think that Drew has, in my objective opinion, about another two-three years left,” Vilma told TMZ Sports.

“But if you ask Drew,” he added, “he’s got like another 10 or 15 years left.”

Brees is still executing at a Hall of Fame level.  In 2018, he passed for 3,992 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, led the NFL with a 115.7 passer rating and broke his own NFL record with a 74.4 completion percentage. The GOAT candidate doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

In the meantime, plenty of NFL teams need Bridgewater’s services. He’s a proven winner when healthy. A playoff caliber QB. Despite what I say, Bridgewater appears content with backing up Brees for a couple more years. He got paid again and can feed his family, which is most important. Reports say the deal has a maximum value of $12.5 million and the Saints have obviously filled his mind with visions of one day being the man behind center. 

Bridgewater is buying what they’re selling. 

The 13 years ago Teddy B is referencing is when Drew Brees returned from an injury, turned down an offer from the Miami Dolphins and signed with the Saints. We know how that situation worked out as Brees is the NFL’s all-time leading passer.  

Bridgewater is seeking a similar path to glory and signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal to back up Brees instead of potentially being a starter with the Miami Dolphins.

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“I’m still 26 years old,” Bridgewater told the Times-Picayune. “The way I look at it is that I’ll have another opportunity to start in this league at some point.”

Bridgewater is rolling the dice. You have to believe Brees is coming to the end of his illustrious career. How long can the human body continue to defy odds?

This entire situation, which looks to be a step back for Bridgewater, could end up being his best move. Waiting two more years, learning Sean Payton’s system, gaining the trust of the organization, and assuming the reigns of a familiar system after Brees rides off into the sunset, isn’t a bad deal for a guy who didn’t even know if he’d be able to walk regularly again.

It’s also a clear indication that New Orleans is happy with the progress and ability to grasp the system that Bridgewater has displayed in practice. They are comfortable with him running the show if Brees goes down. With the various offensive packages that Payton likes to employ, having a healthy Bridgewater with all of his attributes behind center would definitely pose problems for opposing defenses.

In the meantime, patience is a virtue for Teddy B, who probably could be getting ready to start the season as the man in Miami under a new head coach in Brian Flores. It’s a gamble, built one Bridgewater is willing to make.  

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.