The former Minnesota Vikings quarterback is getting another shot to be a starter in 2020.
During the 2018 offseason, the Minnesota Vikings had a huge, franchise-altering choice to make. The Vikings had to figure out who was going to be their next starting quarterback.
Minnesota was just coming off a 2017 season that saw Case Keenum help them get to the NFC Championship. Keenum, along with Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, all became free agents in 2018 after spending the previous year with the Vikings.
Instead of re-signing one of these three passers though, Minnesota turned to the top of the free-agent market and decided to spend a boatload of money on former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Will the Minnesota Vikings have regrets this year about letting Teddy Bridgewater leave in 2018?
It’s been two seasons since the Vikings said no thanks to Bradford, Bridgewater, and Keenum. During these two years, Minnesota has been proven to be correct about Bradford, who is no longer in the NFL, and Keenum, who failed as a starter with the Denver Broncos and Washington.
As for Bridgewater, he spent the last two seasons as a backup for the New Orleans Saints behind Drew Brees. Most people thought his career in the NFL was finished after his gruesome knee injury with the Vikings in 2016, so him just being a backup seemed like a great enough accomplishment.
But now, Bridgewater has been given another opportunity to be an NFL starting quarterback. With a new head coach in Matt Rhule, the Carolina Panthers decided to make a change under center this offseason and it resulted in them giving got the former Minnesota first-round pick a three-year contract worth up to $63 million.
Bridgewater is scheduled to earn $24 million during the upcoming season and two years ago, something like that pretty much seemed impossible.
The Panthers weren’t the only team giving a bunch of money to a quarterback this year as the Vikings chose to extend their current deal with Cousins until 2023 and it could potentially result in him earning an additional $66 million.
There are going to be a number of people keeping a close watch on Bridgewater in 2020 and a good amount of those paying attention will be the fans who used to root for him in Minnesota. If he ends up outperforming Cousins during the upcoming season, go ahead and bet your house on people who cover the NFL for a living questioning if the Vikings gave up on Bridgewater too early.
But if this is something that ends up happening, Minnesota shouldn’t be blamed. The Vikings went with a quarterback whose football career wasn’t up in the air after a serious knee injury and very few people anticipated Bridgewater ever getting back to being a starter in the league again.
If their former quarterback goes out this season and proves to the rest of the NFL why he was worthy of being drafted in the first round, then Minnesota and Mike Zimmer will likely be incredibly happy for him. But regret shouldn’t be something the Vikings feel in 2020 if Bridgewater leads Carolina to success.