What’s next for Teddy Bridgewater after Panthers’ Sam Darnold trade

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The NFL’s game of quarterback roulette this offseason might not end with Monday’s trade of Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.

That deal involving the Jets could lead to at least one more former first-round pick at the position being moved, as Panthers GM Scott Fitterer indicated a trade of 2020 starter Teddy Bridgewater is on the table.

“We’re going to find the right place for him, whether it’s here or someplace else,” Fitterer told reporters.

The Panthers spoke with Bridgewater after acquiring Darnold and “allowed him the opportunity to talk with teams to potentially facilitate a trade,’ according to a tweet Tuesday morning by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. He also wrote that Carolina is “open” to the quarterback returning, “but will give him a chance to have a say in his future.”

The 28-year-old Bridgewater is just one season into the three-year deal worth $63 million (with $33 million guaranteed) he signed last offseason after spending the previous season as Drew Brees’ backup in New Orleans. He was in training camp alongside Darnold with the Jets in 2018, before they traded him to the Saints in late August.

Carolina likely would have to rework Bridgewater’s contract – lowering his $23 million cap hit for 2021 — to keep him as the backup to Darnold. The Panthers also have quarterbacks P.J. Walker and Will Grier on their roster, and Walker won his lone start filling in for Bridgewater in 2020.

Trading Bridgewater would clear his salary and figures to bring back at least a portion of the draft capital – a 2021 sixth-round pick and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022 – the Panthers sent to the Jets. He threw for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 4-11 record in 15 starts last season, with another 279 yards and five TDs on the ground.

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