Teddy Bridgewater’s contract situation could get interesting, and possibly ugly

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With the Vikings not picking up the fifth-year option on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s 2014 first-round contract, he’s due to become a free agent in 2018. Unless his contract tolls by a year.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement contains a provision that plainly states the contract will toll if he remains on the Physically Unable to Perform through the sixth game of the 2017 regular season. With Bridgewater still recovering from a devastating knee injury suffered last August, a decision to leave him on the PUP list at the start of the regular season guarantees that he’ll be on PUP for the first six games, because: (1) the window to exit PUP doesn’t open until after Week Six; and (2) the Vikings don’t have a bye in the first six weeks of the season.

Given that a tolled contract means Bridgewater would be bound to the Vikings for two straight years at $1.354 million (his 2017 base salary), Bridgewater and the NFL Players Association will be ready to challenge a PUP designation by the team, if Bridgewater and the union believe he can pass a physical. The stakes will be high and the feelings could get raw; as one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, a disagreement could lead to a “huge” battle, with the NFL and the Vikings on one side and the NFLPA and Bridgewater on the other.

Said Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman on Friday’s PFT Live: “We know the rule very well. We’ve talked to the Management Council, we understand everything that’s involved with it, but again it’s something from a contractual standpoint that I’d rather not comment on. But there are specific rules there, and we’re quite aware of what the rules are.”

Here’s where the situation morphs from potentially contentious to flat-out confusing. A league source tells PFT that the NFL’s Management Council has interpreted the relevant language of the CBA in past cases to require the player to spend the entire year on the PUP list in order to toll the contract. PFT has asked both the NFL (multiple times) and the Vikings whether that contention is accurate, and there has been no response from either the league or the team.

The silence invites speculation as to whether the Vikings and/or the NFL intend to interpret the provision as written moving forward, reducing the tolling threshold from a full year to six games. And why wouldn’t they take that position? It’s a management-friendly right the league has secured at the bargaining table. The notion that the Management Council has interpreted the language in a way that provides a gratuity to the players makes no sense.

Regardless of whether Bridgewater must spend six weeks or the full year on PUP, a disagreement could be looming that could eventually poison the relationship between player and team, if it’s not handled properly by everyone involved.

53 responses to “Teddy Bridgewater’s contract situation could get interesting, and possibly ugly

  1. I don’t care what the CBA says. This is totally unfair to Bridgewater, “know it when you see it” style.

    It’s not like he’s going to cost $20M per year…either negotiate with him now while you have exclusive rights to him (and his medical records) or let him walk next year and see what he can get.

  2. Well, they could always use the provision (if he isn’t ready to play), and then work out a deal later to pay him more if they are worried about keeping him happy (if he ever gets healthy enough to play). But, no reason for the league or team to not use the rules as written.

  3. I was going to correct the video headline, but “Vikes WEARY about Bridgewater’s health” actually makes more sense than them being WARY about it…

  4. OH NO!! Please tell me it ain’t so! I thought the vikes were like nurturing cherubs of benevolence when it came to looking out for the wellbeing of their players. That’s what the skoltrolls incessantly tell us. Are they liars? Yes they are and they’re delusional too!

    SKOLOL!!!

  5. The best you could say about Teddy is that he could grow into being a game manager.
    He’s a bubble screen guy who didn’t averge 1 td per game.
    I hope he gets taken care of, but hes not a huge loss to the league.
    Good guy with limited talent.

  6. I had more faith in the Group of 10 and the Triangle of Authority when it comes to personnel decisions than I have in Rick.

  7. dawoger says:
    May 7, 2017 9:47 PM

    OH NO!! Please tell me it ain’t so! I thought the vikes were like nurturing cherubs of benevolence when it came to looking out for the wellbeing of their players. That’s what the skoltrolls incessantly tell us. Are they liars? Yes they are and they’re delusional too!

    SKOLOL!!!

    ————————————————————
    Since you don’t understand how the NFL works…I’ll make it simple for you…32 out of 32 GM’s would make that same move…it’s called running a business…You probably really believe that “stock” the Packers sell is worth something too…

  8. I know Teddy is a really swell guy and all that but he needs to come around to the concept that pro football is a business and he is costing money without any production (no, I am not talking about his first few years as a starter)

    Whether or not he can come off the PUP list is at the discretion of the team doctor, not the Players union. And when the owner of the team that you play for has already been convicted of fraud, you have to learn to just trust the team’s judgment in these matters. What could possibly go wrong?

    Teddy figures he must hold all the leverage, I mean, where are the Vikings going to find another Qb capable of throwing a whopping 14 TD’s a year, that’s rarified air in Minnesota.

  9. Chump change. He could play dirty pool by waiting until they call his number and then inform them he’s holding out. He wouldn’t be losing much. And, it would be fun!

  10. This article is clearly defining at deadline to the Teddy/Vikes situation.
    Other than that, nothing to see here.
    How’s colt lyeria doing?

  11. I agree with Spielman for once. And that’s tough to say as a Packer fan. It’s a business. Contracts are binding. The NFLPA can’t start making up rules. Nor should the team bend the rules. If Teddy can show he can play 100%, then you have to allow him. If he can’t show the necessary skills, then it’s PUP. That extra year of rehab will tell if he is 100% or not. You want to know that before offering a contract.

  12. OK, let’s not freak out here. A lot of things can and will happen before then. These things resolve themselves, one way or another, before stuff hits the fan.

  13. So what you are trying to say is that sometime in the future, something good may happen or something bad may happen and all of this is determined by decisions made by the two parties involved?

  14. nomoreseasontix says:
    May 7, 2017 9:48 PM
    The best you could say about Teddy is that he could grow into being a game manager.
    He’s a bubble screen guy who didn’t averge 1 td per game.
    I hope he gets taken care of, but hes not a huge loss to the league.
    ____________

    That’s the best you can say about Sam Bradford too. except Samuel didn’t get his 17th win in the league until his 4th year as a starter.

    While I don’t believe that Theodore had the top tier arm strength, if they would have built upon his rookie year, he would have certainly put up 20TDs and be right about where Bradford is, in his “Good Years”

  15. Week one of the 2017 season will be about a year since the injury, and everyone expected it would take longer than that for Teddy to be able to play again. Therefore, he will be under contract to the Vikings for 2018, according to the CBA. Both sides want to continue the relationship so I think they will work out an extension that is fair for both sides. I don’t see any controversy coming out of this unless Bradford lights it up early in the season, making Teddy think twice about sticking around.

  16. I’m curious about the possibility that he never gets well enough to play football again. Would he collect $1.3 million in 2018 for basically doing nothing? (Like he did last year and probably will this year too). I’m having a hard time finding sympathy in any of this. Rich people problems geez…

  17. Hit the wrong button but my comment is this: shaggytoodle has real issues we should all help him with. Teddy blew his knee in the worst possible way. We will miss him. Good luck. Sam is a stud who actually has both knees so we are going with him. Should you have questions post herein.

  18. These players, who are forced to play under the NFLPA first-year contracts should sue so they are not forced to join the union in the first place, and sign these contracts. You should be worth what the market will bear.

    They got jobbered by the veterans, who agreed to the current bargaining agreement.

  19. Teddy’s future may well be putting his name on a bar and restaurant across the street from the Vikes’ stadium. Teddy’s, for a burger and beer after the game.

  20. tjacks7 says:
    Jan 19, 2017 12:01 PM

    Falcons 52, Packers 34.

    —–

    zerotrophiessince1961 says:
    Jan 19, 2017 12:07 PM

    And the Vikings trolls are out in force! A 20 point blowout tjacks???

    LOL. Dude. Just go away.

    —–

    Final score: 44, 21. Never forget.

  21. How about we worry about Bridgewater healing up and getting back on the field. As a Lions fan who can’t stand the Vikes, even I hate to see what happened to Bridgewater and hope he is able to play again.

  22. Stefon Diggs, Trey Waynes, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Rhodes, Shariff Floyd and Teddy Bridgewater (if healthy), Harrison Smith, Rhett Ellison, Jarius Wright, Kyle Rudolph, Everson Griffin, etc.

    Compare that to Ted who has drafted 8 defenders with his last 10 first rounders and still fields one of the leagues worst defenses. I guess that Rodgers guys covers up a lot of holes, even at the GM position.

  23. Wilf and his sons fined $46 million for fraudulent business practices. Last Friday weasel faced Speildolt was described as speaking evasively when addressing Teddy’s contract status. Anybody with of spec of common sense should know that the trustworthiness of anything contract signed with or is told to them by this corrupt regime is iffy at best.

  24. If you’re the Packers coach, its OK to have a less than mediocre team Just throw Erin Rodgers out there and sit back and eat donuts.

  25. My only thought here is that we care because he was a QB and a starter. Things like this happen all the time to “bubble” players and no one cares. They get released with an injured designation, and leave with no money and no career and with their bodies permanently damaged. Give Bridgewater the concern you would give any player. But don’t have a double standard. I hope he gets well and comes back and plays well, but fair is fair.

  26. Would he collect $1.3 million in 2018 for basically doing nothing? (Like he did last year and probably will this year too). I’m having a hard time finding sympathy in any of this. Rich people problems geez…

    —-

    I have sympathy for anyone who suffers a dream crushing, career altering/ending injury. But, with that said, I would give him my leg for $1,300,000.

  27. Why does it seem that gm is bragging about his command of ‘gotcha’ strategy. Best for him and Vikings that he doesn’t spike football over this good young man’s plight. That Vikings may control the scene here due to their first round draft choice being physically unable is not overall a positive.

  28. Looking at it pragmatically I think if I were TB5 I would take $1M a year to rehab. In my down time I would show my agent where to stick his 4%

    I would get a little antsy next season if /when I felt ready to take the field. But considering there’s no way Teddy is going to be a starting qb in the NFL in 2017 either way, I think I would be a bit patient with the team that drafted me and re-habed me.

    2018 is were it would get a bit murky.

  29. sammievee says:
    May 8, 2017 9:21 AM

    Why does it seem that gm is bragging about his command of ‘gotcha’ strategy
    ————————————-

    Probably because the GM said and did no such thing.

    No worries, there’s a lot of that type feeling going around these days.

    Concentrate….and read more carefully

  30. If it does come down to Bridgewater vs. the vikings, I honestly don’t think Teddy has a leg to stand on here.

  31. Talk about inventing drama where there is none. Teddy hasn’t voiced any displeasure, not a word, not through anyone. It is 100% speculation that this would become a fight. Coming off the injury he did, he may very well be happy to still have a contract for a year…if he pushed to go into free agency nobody is paying him…nobody. I say that as a Teddy fan. This isn’t a case of a huge superstar coming off a knee injury and everyone suspects he’ll be the same and he hits free agency. Teddy is going to miss 1.5 to 2 seasons and the injury was catastrophic. IF he is able to play again at all, going to free agency would be stupid for him. He knows it, and that’s why you aren’t hearing him complain.

  32. This once again shows how Demaurice Smith is a terrible ED…the owners couldn’t have negotiated a better deal if they put their own guy in that position….the players are always getting the short end of the stick…the Viking should not be able to get a extra yr at a rookie salary because of injury…you either sign him to contract, pick up his 5th yr option (another terrible provision in the cbo) or let him hit the market….this is not the leagues fault its the players fault for continuing to elect bone head to run the NFLPA….

  33. TBW has not earned a large contract so if it comes to that the Vikings will let him walk as they should. If they can get him for low book numbers then they keep him to see if first he can play again, second to see if he can develop. Personally I’ve seen nothing from him on a consistent basis to suggest he will be anything more than a backup. Passing over on Carr is another failure at the QB position for Spielman.

  34. Im actually on the Vikings side of this. The guy missed all of last year and got paid.

    Now he will miss all the offseason work, wont be in any kind of football shape, and will miss at least the first 1/3rd of the regular season?

    Nah…that shouldn’t count as a year on his contract, sorry. Its bad enough the Vikings have to pay him all that money already…but he wants a raise to 15+ million, with the Vikings having NO IDEA if he will actually ever play again?

  35. sdchicken says:
    May 7, 2017 9:51 PM
    For us non lawyers, what does it mean that his contract will toll? Speak to the common man Florio

    —————————————-

    Ask not for whom the contract tolls. It tolls for thee.

  36. tjacks7 says:
    May 8, 2017 8:14 AM
    Stefon Diggs, Trey Waynes, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Rhodes, Shariff Floyd and Teddy Bridgewater (if healthy), Harrison Smith, Rhett Ellison, Jarius Wright, Kyle Rudolph, Everson Griffin, etc.
    Compare that to Ted who has drafted 8 defenders with his last 10 first rounders and still fields one of the leagues worst defenses. I guess that Rodgers guys covers up a lot of holes, even at the GM position.
    ==================================Awesome- and with that, Spielman put together an 8-8 team while Green Bay goes to the NFC Championship Game.

  37. It’s not in Bridgewater’s, or the Vikings, interest for him to rush his recovery time. Bridgewater is only 24, so it’s important for him to take the long view, which will likely help him contractually too.

    If Bridgewater says he’s ready for the active roster at the beginning of the year, and is put there, he’ll be starting on the bench. And barring an injury to Bradford, will stay there until he’s a free agent.

    How much will a team pay Bridgewater if they don’t know how well he can play after a major – much worse than an ACL – knee injury? Or how durable he will be?

    On the other hand, if he’s placed on PUP and his contract tolls, he would then compete with Bradford for the starting job in 2018. Teams would then at least see him in pre-season games, and perhaps in regular season games too. If he plays well and shows no drop-off in performance, that will lead to a much more lucrative contract than if there were still questions about whether or not he can play at the same level as before.

  38. Vikes did the right thing. No way do you pick up an $11m option on a guy that may never play again. However, if this year he shows that it’s likely he will be able to play again, the Vikings will sign him to an extension. Right or wrong, nobody in the league values Teddy more than Zimmer.

  39. Smfh. You people are disrespectful. If you’re a Vikings fan and you’re acting as if you’ve had a better season with any other QB in the last 15 seasons outside of that one season with Favre then you’re unappreciative of Bridgewater and you DESERVE TO BE WHAT YOU WERE WITH SAM BRADFORD

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