On Monday, it was reported that the New York Jets have traded quarterback Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the the 2021 NFL Draft and a second and fourth-round pick in 2022. Darnold was the third overall selection in the 2018 Draft and has started in 38 games.
The 23-year old has completed 59.8% of his passes while totaling 45 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions. With the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, most expect New York to select either BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
By bringing Darnold in, the Panthers will reportedly look to move on from veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He finished last season with 20 total touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 69% completion percentage; the fifth-best rate in the NFL.
Which teams will gather interest in the 2015 Pro Bowl talent ahead of next season?
Denver General Manager George Paton was with the Minnesota Vikings when Bridgewater was drafted to the team in 2014. If the Broncos can manage to trade for Bridgewater in exchange for late draft compensation, it could be worth his $10 million guaranteed cap hit for the 2021 season.
The team is currently leaning on Drew Lock for success at the quarterback position, who suffered somewhat of a sophomore slump without wide receiver Courtland Sutton on the field. He finished the season with 2,933 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to go with a league-high 15 interceptions. His starting record in the 2020 campaign was a mere 4-9.
This deal only comes to fruition if the Broncos don’t gamble on any quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft. Denver is in possession of the 9th overall pick in the 2021 Draft.
New England Patriots
If the Patriots continue to hold doubt in Cam Newton as their starting quarterback ahead of the 2021 season, the addition of Bridgewater could be an immediate upgrade. Newton is currently on a one-year deal, and failed to live up to expectations last season.
New England holds the 15th overall selection in the 2021 Draft and have not made progress on trading up to grab an elite quarterback prospect in the first round. Much like Newton, Bridgewater possesses a conservative passing style that could be successful under Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense.
The Patriots failed to have a receiver finish with 800+ receiving yards last season, with Jakobi Meyers (729) finishing as the primary option. If New England is truly interested in competing within the AFC East in 2021, then the addition of Bridgewater puts them in the right direction. Over the course of his career, Bridgewater holds a starting record of 26-23.
New Orleans Saints
After extending Taysom Hill to a four-year, $140 million contract, there are still questions about who the starting quarterback will be in New Orleans post-Drew Brees. The front office brought back Jameis Winston on a $12 million deal, but would a reunion with Bridgewater create interest?
A deal with the Saints is unlikely, but Brigewater was successful during his short tenure with the team from 2018-19. Bridgewater was 5-1 as a starter with 1,502 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions.