Teddy Bridgewater May Be The Bears Last Hope To Find a Quarterback By Ryan Kanne
With the Carolina Panthers trading for Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater is likely on his way out of Carolina after one season. Bridgewater is being allowed to be in the trade process and help find a team both him and the Panthers can find a fit with. While multiple teams are interested in the former first round pick, the Chicago Bears should be one of the top contenders.
The Bears offseason has been full of quarterback rumors ultimately ending with the signing of Andy Dalton to a one-year deal. Rumors of trades for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson have fallen flat and left the fan base starved for a new quarterback. Even with confirmation that Dalton is “QB1” with the Bears, the team and general manager Ryan Pace shouldn’t be complacent with trying to find an upgrade.
Bridgewater would be a good fit with the Bears to extend the team’s playoff window by another year. There was mutual interest in signing Bridgewater in 2020 before he ultimately signed with the Panthers, leading to the Bears trading for Nick Foles.
In a turn of fate, any deal for Bridgewater would likely include Foles to offset Bridgewater’s almost $24 million cap hit in 2021. In addition to Foles the Bears would likely have to give up a similar draft haul the Panthers gave up for Sam Darnold. Bridgewater’s price could be higher, but his contract has an opt out after the 2022 season that makes his contract a one-year deal.
If all the Bears must give up for Bridgewater is a second-round pick and a few late round selections, they should be jumping at the chance to make the deal. The biggest problem for the Bears is the stability of the organization.
Not only are the Bears a poorly run NFL team, most of their best starters like Allen Robinson, Akeim Hicks, and James Daniels are unrestricted free agents after 2021. The 2020 season inspired little confidence in Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy who are also likely in their final season in Chicago. Unless Bridgewater wants to join a group of soon to be free agents for a potential playoff run, Chicago is the place to go.
Outside of their one-year opportunity, the Bears aren’t as stable as teams like the Denver Broncos or New England Patriots are with their roster and front office. Both of those teams could also offer more lucrative draft selections this year with the Broncos picking ninth overall and the Patriots at 15th overall.
The Bears won’t be out of the sweepstakes until Bridgewater is out of Carolina, but they will likely have to give up the most to get him. This offseason has been anything but torture for Bears fans, but the front office could salvage a competitive 2021 by trading for Bridgewater. Even with odds not looking good for a big move, an NFC North reunion isn’t out of the question.