Will Teddy Bridgewater be the guy in Minnesota?

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The Vikings need a true franchise quarterback. Maybe they’ll eventually decide to find out if their presumed franchise quarterback from two years ago can finally become the franchise quarterback they need.

Judd Zulgad of 1500espn.com makes the case for the Vikings keeping Bridgewater in 2018, giving him a chance to become the guy that they thought he would be before a freak accident at practice shredded his knee and derailed his career. As Zulgad notes, only the Vikings truly know where Bridgewater currently is from a health standpoint, and whether he has a chance to become the guy they thought he would be in 2016.

His numbers through two NFL seasons weren’t stellar, arguably due in part (in 2015) to the presence of running back Adrian Peterson, who when healthy was the focal point of the offense. When needed to move the ball through the air with games on the line, Bridgewater did that — most significantly in the playoff loss to Seattle, where Bridgewater did everything but kick the field goal that Blair Walsh shanked.

Bridgewater had no blame for that fateful play from two years ago at TCF Bank Stadium, and he’s one of the few whose fingerprints appear nowhere on the Minneapolis Meltdown from Sunday night, given that Bridgewater was a healthy scratch.

How healthy he truly is will determine whether the Vikings try to keep him from hitting the open market. Chris Simms mentioned on Tuesday’s PFT Live that, when he went to Lambeau Field for the late-season Vikings-Packers game, Bridgewater still seemed to be favoring the reconstructed knee during pregame warmups. If the Vikings believe that’s the case, it will definitely be a factor.

But if they think he’s healthy, maybe he deserves the chance to become the guy in 2018 that the Vikings thought he could be in 2016.

One key question in this regard will be the next offensive coordinator, and it likely will be fairly clear from the interviews for the gig whether and to what extent the team has Bridgewater in its plans for next year. Bridgewater definitely will be the cheapest in-house (and external) option for the Vikings, since Bridgewater surely won’t be looking to the franchise tag as the starting point for a long-term deal. And to the extent that Bridgewater’s agent will be gauging the market, everyone except Giants coach Pat Shurmur will have no idea as to whether Bridgewater is truly healthy enough to play.

The fact that the current head coach/G.M. regime brought Bridgewater on board also works in his favor, given that at one point he was — and still may be — their guy. Zulgad notes that coach Mike Zimmer remained lukewarm about Case Keenum through much of the year. While it may have been a motivational tactic, it also may have been a true indication of a belief that Keenum’s success was a non-sustainable fluke. If there’s any silver lining from the nasty cloud of noxious fumes hanging over the Vikings after the 38-7 debacle in Philadelphia, it’s that the Vikings won’t be nearly as compelled to keep Keenum around as they seemed to be after the once-in-a-seven-lifetimes win over the Saints.

So with the $23 million franchise-tag option removed from the table when it comes to Keenum, the Vikings can move away from other high-rent options (Drew Brees remains a fascinating possibility) and potentially entrust the guy whose potential career as a franchise quarterback was derailed by fate. A guy who still could become the franchise quarterback the Vikings so badly need.

At worst, the Vikings can find a cheap veteran backup to serve as the Plan B if Plan Bridgewater doesn’t work out, and the Vikings can resume their search for a true franchise quarterback next year. When they’d be drafting considerably higher than No. 30 in round one, if things don’t work out for Teddy.

63 responses to “Will Teddy Bridgewater be the guy in Minnesota?

  1. No clue why Minnesotans are scared to play football outdoors like real football is played. Teddy should stay there so he can play arena ball. Under the glass.

  2. cabosan1978 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 10:07 am
    No clue why Minnesotans are scared to play football outdoors like real football is played. Teddy should stay there so he can play arena ball. Under the glass.

    ///////////

    You remember the old Metropolitan Stadium? That was outside. TCF was outside when US Bank was being built. Minneapolis has more than a Farve steakhouse and an Applebee’s.

  3. cabosan1978 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 10:07 am
    No clue why Minnesotans are scared to play football outdoors like real football is played. Teddy should stay there so he can play arena ball. Under the glass.

    ____________________________________

    because they are bad outdoors. Evidenced by the last game in Philly after they practiced indoors all week.

  4. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    January 24, 2018 at 10:21 am
    To much of a risk, this team is built to win now.
    //////////

    I agree with you, love the kid, great story but too risky. Sad unfortunate story but you have to do what’s good for the team. Unless a miracle happen and Brees leaves the Saint (zero percent of the happening). I say you roll with Case develop Slotar.

  5. Everyone loves a Teddy but you simply can’t risk your season on a QB that is both unproven and very breakable. Sign Keenum as the starter, try to get Teddy on a reasonable backup contract and develop the Sloter kid as the future. Bradford will be released.

  6. They still need to draft a guy. He’s the only one that they can get on the cheap presumably, and like Jacksonville with Bortles, a lot of what they have done with their defense and the rest of their team is predicated on having QBs on rookie deals (and other cheap QBs in Minnesota’s case).

    If his knee were completely healthy, I would just keep him if Keenum is looking for something crazy like it sounds like he is, but I doubt that’s the case with his health from the reports on him.

  7. No on TB.

    Open competition for the spot between Bradford and Keenum. After Bradford wins, keep Case as the back up.

    problem solved.

  8. Up until this past September Case Keenum was unproven. You’d think the unproven would seem less scary after the way the 2017 season worked out with 3 of the final 4 Qb’s being unproven. Another thing to consider is Keenum will be 30 next month. Bridgewater will be 26 around Thanksgiving.

  9. Calm down people…Minn had a good year BUT 1 year doesn’t make a dynasty…Especially with Rodgers hurt..Also remember last Sunday 38-7… Does coming in 3rd place in the league mean your great? or just better than 29 other teams..Also remember Minn and Clevland are both sitting at home.

  10. I am from Philly but I will say that Manny’s has awesome steaks! I don’t think the Vikings need to change much but the QB situation is something they obviously need to figure out.

  11. i love how having peterson now hurts the qb’s numbers. teams were stacking 8 in the box against him. if a guy cant pick apart single coverage, thats on him. maybe learn to perform a convincing play action

  12. Anyone who thinks the Vikings are going to waste a first round pick, two years of development, and two years of rehab are deluding themselves. Teddy will definitely be on the roster next year. The question is how confident are they that he is healthy enough to handle the load? If they can get Teddy and Case or Teddy and Sam, that would be a home run. If they’re only able to keep one guy, it’s going to be Teddy and some other veteran they can find to back him up. You may not like it but that’s the way it’s going to be.

  13. birdsnooper2 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 10:46 am
    No on TB.

    Open competition for the spot between Bradford and Keenum. After Bradford wins, keep Case as the back up.

    problem solved.

    ———————-
    I am pretty sure that both would not agree to return, since both are free agents. Plus, both likely think they are worth $20 million+ per season (they aren’t). So, hardly problem solved.

  14. There’s an awful lot of risk hitching the Viking’s wagon to a guy with an unproven knee and unfinished tack record — I have a hard time seeing the Vikings going that way.

    And 1950’s Giant guy, you’re right, but I don’t see any Vikings fans claiming a dynasty, and what is wrong with my team being better than 29 other teams? Is that not the very reason Vikings fans should have some optimism? Do you think the reason the Packers changed their entire coaching staff and internal organization was just cause Rodgers was hurt? Admittedly, the Vikes blew a huge window of opportunity, their schedule next year is a killer, and other teams will be improved; however, Vikings fans shouldn’t be ashamed at all to look forward to next year, as their team will likely be better too.

  15. Keenum, nor Teddy, provides the deep shot accuracy that every offense needs to have. That was Teddy’s flaw and Keenum lobs 50/50 balls mostly outside the hashes. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a QB that can stand tall in the pocket and throw a strike accurately 50 yards downfield, between the hashes even?? They have 2 QB’s on the roster with the arm strength, Bradford and Sloter. Sloter isn’t ready. Ride with Sam, Teddy is a cheap backup. Keenum hit his ceiling, Sam had 1 game with this team. It should be worth mentioning, the Vikes staff felt a 1-legged Bradford was better than Keenum versus the Bears. That’s what they think of Keenum.

    Or go get Cousins and put any debate to bed!

  16. 1950giantsfan says:
    January 24, 2018 at 10:52 am
    Calm down people…Minn had a good year BUT 1 year doesn’t make a dynasty…Especially with Rodgers hurt..Also remember last Sunday 38-7… Does coming in 3rd place in the league mean your great? or just better than 29 other teams..Also remember Minn and Clevland are both sitting at home.

    ////////

    Worry about your own team and YOUR QB situation. Hopefully Shurmur can “whisper” Eli to a better year….lol

  17. As much as I hate going all-in, I do think if Brees somehow leaves the Saints the Vikings need to take a serious look at him. Zimmer, 62, is in win now mode more than ever and I think Brees could play well for 2-3 years with players we have on offense. That being said, Brees is probably going to stay in New Orleans and the Vikings will have another middle of the road QB to start the 2018 season.

  18. I can’t emphasize enough that you have to look beyond the number of TD passes Teddy has thrown to see what his true level of ability is. Context is incredibly important to the success of all quarterbacks that aren’t in the upper echelon. Most quarterbacks need an offensive line, talented weapons, and a system that fits their skills to succeed. Teddy has never had any of those. His offensive line was 27th and 29th in pass protection in his two years. Diggs was a rookie in Teddy’s last year, Thielen hadn’t developed yet, and Rudolph dropped passes when he was wide open in the end zone. The offense was built around Adrian Peterson, which didn’t help Teddy to shine at all. He had to run a different offense than he practiced all offseason from Week 2 on because Peterson couldn’t take a handoff out of the shotgun formation.

    Now look at some deeper statistics. Teddy averaged 8.0 yards per attempt on third down. He was rated the most accurate QB in the NFL by PFF. He had a 105.2 rating against the blitz. He completed 73.6% of his passes with a 100.5 rating on passes with four or more receivers in the formation. The Vikings were seventh in the NFL in percentage of drives ending in a score.

    The Vikings know all of these things. If he’s healthy, he’s going to be their guy, he’s going to be at least as good as Keenum was this year, and he’s going to be a lot cheaper.

  19. Trade Bradford and Keenum to Cleveland for the #4 pick, take Baker Mayfield and let him sit a year or 2 behind a guy who’s humble and works his ass off but just doesn’t have the same skillset as Mayfield. Now THAT is problem solving.

  20. Its been my prediction all along, that Teddy will be the only QB of the 3 that is brought back to training camp this summer.

    Keenum is not an idiot, he realizes that even while the Vikings were winning, his head coach was expressing doubt out loud in the press conferences. He knows that the first sign of trouble and Zim will throw him under the bus. He knows his pay day is coming and he will pick his next team and it wouldn’t be the Vikings. Bradford is the best Qb of the 3 and that’s why he will sign elsewhere, the Vikings are consistent in one area and that’s lacking a franchise QB.

    Meanwhile, Teddy, with his prestigious 14 TD passes in back to back seasons, will emerge as the starter. The NFL is brutal and its not likely his China Doll Knee will last 16 games

  21. Keenum benefitted from the stout defense. He’s not a franchise quarterback. Paying him like one would repeat the Flacco mistake. Can the Vikings risk relying on Bridgewater? He’s been the fan favorite for, well, forever. The fans could hardly fault management if they put all their eggs in the Bridgewater basket.

    Or…….keep Bridgewater as the #2 and go with Bradford, considering he’s feeling better. If Bradford fails, then in comes Bridgewater. There aren’t a lot of options, unless they go all-in with Flacco……..err…….Keenum.

  22. @inteddywetrust …what are you tb’s agent? Teddy was a pedestrian starter when healthy who only in the minnesota market was viewed as any type of franchise qb. Some how with 8 men in the box teddy struggled in throwing the ball, was in the top 2 in 2015 for passes at or behind the line of scrimmage, had among the least amount of passes completed over 20 yards an held the ball in the pocket as long as anyone in the league. Now he has missed two years of developement working on rehabbing a knee that by some accounts is still not 100% healed an was not active in the playoffs. Oh yea he threw 14 tds 2 straight years, context does not matter, those are not starter stats

  23. bigugly2005 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Trade Bradford and Keenum to Cleveland for the #4 pick, take Baker Mayfield and let him sit a year or 2 behind a guy who’s humble and works his ass off but just doesn’t have the same skillset as Mayfield. Now THAT is problem solving.
    _________

    Brilliant! Just make sure the NFL doesn’t notice because Bradford and Keenum are unrestricted free agents.

  24. @ariani1985 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 11:10 am
    could easily start for the Packers TRADITIONALLY horrible defense….easily but so could I with 2 weeks of workouts.
    —————————————————————————————–

    You can’t make your high school team with two YEARS of working out.

  25. In Teddy We Trust ,

    Not to mention that his numbers look just like the Hall of Famer’s numbers that Norv originally coached in the league and a lot like Jay Fiedler’s wehn he ran Ricky Williams into retirement. I know I’d go with the common denominator when assessing him, but that’s just me.

    My only question going forward would be his health because that was a gruesome injury by all accounts. If Keenum doesn’t get crazy, I’d keep him around on the cheap, but otherwise let some other sucker overpay him. They’ll get a rude awakening just like the team that backs up a truck to Kirk Cousins.

    Bradford shouldn’t even be in this conversation. He not only is not that good but can’t stay healthy over multiple years now, but his agent really is delusional and will make sure his client stays delusional too because he was the last lottery winner #1 pick.

  26. 81TinaKane says:
    January 24, 2018 at 11:34 am

    @inteddywetrust …what are you tb’s agent? Teddy was a pedestrian starter when healthy who only in the minnesota market was viewed as any type of franchise qb. Some how with 8 men in the box teddy struggled in throwing the ball, was in the top 2 in 2015 for passes at or behind the line of scrimmage, had among the least amount of passes completed over 20 yards an held the ball in the pocket as long as anyone in the league. Now he has missed two years of developement working on rehabbing a knee that by some accounts is still not 100% healed an was not active in the playoffs. Oh yea he threw 14 tds 2 straight years, context does not matter, those are not starter stats
    ________

    And which quarterback do you prefer? Before this year, Keenum’s stats were worse than Bridgewater’s, while he was playing on similar offenses to what Bridgewater was saddled with. Do you think he all of a sudden took a giant step forward in his development this year? Or is it more likely that he was put in a better situation than he had ever been before? Context matters. If you’re Aaron Rodgers, you can do well regardless of context, but there aren’t a lot of QBs like that.

    And eight men in the box doesn’t help you pass if you hand the ball off anyway. Or if no one can beat single coverage. Or if you don’t have time to throw. Or if you don’t have eight men in the box because it’s third and long because Peterson lost 2 yards on first and second down and now he’s on the bench because he can’t pass block.

  27. Drew Brees would be crazy to have on the Vikings. Opposing teams would have little chance. The offense would be as dominant as the defense. I would say it would be very smart for Brees to play for Minnesota if he truly wants another ring. Teddy is a good option to resign also. Teddy would be promised the starting role which I am fine with. Teddy is the real option here if we can’t land Drew Brees. I always thought that is what QB I would want on my team is Drew Brees. Those QBs are expensive but worth it.

  28. bigugly2005 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 11:14 am
    Trade Bradford and Keenum to Cleveland for the #4 pick, take Baker Mayfield and let him sit a year or 2 behind a guy who’s humble and works his ass off but just doesn’t have the same skillset as Mayfield. Now THAT is problem solving.

    ————————

    Hard to trade players that you don’t have under contract. That’s the problem here – none of the 3 are actually contracted AT ALL to the Vikes.

  29. I don’t have a pony in this race, my favorite team is over in GB but I am startled at the number of fans who Think Bridgewater will seemingly work for free. Should he be as fully recovered as the most optimistic Vikings fan believe he is then some team will pay him pretty good dough. Having seen Teddy play a lot, he easily had (previously) the most mobility, calmness under pressure and the worst arm-strength of the three. In a dome on a defensive minded team this may not be a liability but eventually you will have to venture outdoors and into the January elements and then what do you have! Bradford has the best arm but is now very fragile but someone will pay him. Keenum probably will also get paid and suffer the Glennon fate. IDK how the Vikings solve this but to think more than one will be back is dependent on how much the Vikes are willing to pay. Teddy will want starters money Bradford will want starters money and Keenum will want elite backup money and I don’t that the Vikes will want to accommodate any of that in spite of significant salary cap space! Perhaps Cousins will be pursued???

  30. Roll the dice with a 1-2yr “prove it” deal for Bridgewater and develop Sloter and use the cap space to lock up younger talent on the roster to longer deals. Both have tremendous football IQ and upside potential.

    Bradford’s too damaged, too immobile, and too risk-averse as a passer, even if he’s the best pure passer in the Vikings current orbit. I think we saw Keenum’s ceiling already, and that ceiling included too many poor decisions and 50/50 balls; let someone else pay him starter money.

  31. I have no problem with the Vikings keeping Bridgewater, but to let Keenum walk after the season he had is a mistake. Keep them both, let Bradford walk and make Bridgewater beat out Keenum.

    Case Keenum may not be a franchise QB, but he posted the best season by a Viking QB this decade. He has earned the starting job in Minnesota until someone else beats him out for it. I have no problem letting Bridgewater try to do that, but Teddy shouldn’t just be handed the job. As unfair as it may seem, Teddy needs to prove himself again. If he can do it, it’s better for the Vikings. If he can’t, then Keenum is still around and man the position. It’s a win-win for the team, which is what counts.

  32. One game and this franchise is in turmoil? It is pretty obvious the choice should be Bridgewater. The other 2 are vets, one of who has seen better days and the other had a nice, but probably somewhat lucky run. They could sign someone as well.

    As an Eagles fan, let me just say that the Vikes shouldn’t overreact. Everything went right for the Eagles. If anything, I think the Vikings coaching staff needs to take a long look in the mirror. That was the root of the problems on Sunday.

  33. I would say it would be very smart for Brees to play for Minnesota if he truly wants another ring.
    ======================================
    Not according to the last 5 quarters of action by that overrated Vikings defense.

  34. Brees is on the downside. The reason that older QB’s are doing better than those in the past is that the rules favor the offense so much that experienced QB’s can feast. Still, Father Time eventually gets them all. Brees does have difficulty with the long ball now. I don’t think he would be the answer. Cousin’s is intriguing. Maybe Foles in a trade.

  35. So stupid. Case Keenum is the best option. Vikes should just sign him to a 3-4 year deal, maybe $15M per year with a decent signing bonus. Only bonus is guaranteed so if it doesn’t work out they just cut him loose. They need to show the guy a little respect. He saved the Vikes season and they treat him like he’s garbage. Going with Teddy as the starter is very high risk because of his injury. Bradford is done. There are not other options. Brees is not coming here and Cousins is the same guy as Keenum.

    It’s not rocket science, people.

  36. Why not keep everybody, but I can’t believe any of three are foolish enough to accept less than they believe they are worth. This may be the last chance all three of them get for a big payday. Spielman may have to chose just one and it does appear Bridgewater is the coach’s favorite.

  37. Your fanbase IQ is dropping fast, Viking fans. Most of you don’t realize that you can’t trade your free agents away. You either sign them or they sign elsewhere.

  38. vikesfansteve says:
    January 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm
    They should make a play for Bree’s or even Cousins. Case is a good option too.

    ////////

    Totally agree but highly doubt Brees will leave the Saints. BUT he didn’t do himself any favors by saying he wants to stay, Saints may try and low ball home. Cousins just not sold and here’s why.

    Case came in as the number three and eventually got to practice with the 2’s. After week one he was given the keys and started driving the car. Didn’t exactly come out like a house on fire but eventually got in a groove. I think with OTAs and a whole camp studying the play book AS THE STARTER he will be just fine. So in essence a while off season knowing he’s the starter could help his game. Like I’ve said , sign him develop Slotar.

  39. Ken Davis says:
    January 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    One game and this franchise is in turmoil? It is pretty obvious the choice should be Bridgewater. The other 2 are vets, one of who has seen better days and the other had a nice, but probably somewhat lucky run. They could sign someone as well.

    As an Eagles fan, let me just say that the Vikes shouldn’t overreact. Everything went right for the Eagles. If anything, I think the Vikings coaching staff needs to take a long look in the mirror. That was the root of the problems on Sunday.

    ///////////

    You are so correct with the overreacting. It was one of those games that yes, the Eagles could make no mistakes at all, Vikings fans be honest this team has had those games during the season as well when everything went right. Zim did say in his press conference Wednesday that he wished he had made some better calls. My wife is a Steelers fan and I read a lot of the same overreactions after their loss to the Jags. Part of the grieving process I guess. BUT in all reality the Eagles were better prepared and lowered the boom on the Vikes plain and simple.

  40. Fully 50% of players who suffered the same injury as Bridgewater never play the game again. If he is able to play at a higher level than he did before, doubtful, give him a prove it deal, keep Sloter and draft Luke Falk on day two to develop as an NFL QB for future seasons. I would say Bradford could also sign a prove it deal or a front loaded contract for Keenum they can walk away from if this year was an outlier.

  41. You gotta keep CK. He had a strong season. Let Bradford walk and see what the market dictates on TB. The really sad thing is that one 8-8 season with Bradford cost the vikes a first and a fourth.

  42. Think Ken Davis got it right…don’t overreact. A horrible half against the Saints, a horrible game against the Eagles, but the Vikings had some good wins this year.

    I do, however, disagree with quarterback choice. I’d move on from Bradford and Bridgewater. It’s hard to judge Keenum in the final game — he was let down by the gameplan and the offensive line. But, he didn’t do anything to elevate the team (like say Rodgers or Brady would have), and he may have displayed his ceiling.

    Everybody seems to rave about Sloter, but no experience and I haven’t seem him play. Need to find an o coordinator who can maximize the skill set of the quarterback, and a quarterback who understands and is capable of executing what the coordinator wants.

    I’d like to see a stronger arm back there — Keenum floats or try to touch pass too many throw for my liking.

  43. I don’t think Case is going to get offered as much money as people think. I like him more than the other 2 options though. He is accurate and played well, but the last few games under duress he made too many turnovers and bad decisions. He is elusive in the pocket and great when the O-line gives him time. I’m not sure what his price tag will be. I do think the Vikings will offer him the most though.

  44. purpleguy says:
    January 24, 2018 at 11:03 am
    And 1950’s Giant guy, you’re right, but I don’t see any Vikings fans claiming a dynasty,
    ____________________________
    I like you purpleguy as you keep it more about football than trolling, but if you haven’t seen some of your cohorts proclaiming a dynasty in the making these past few years you need to read more carefully.

  45. Teddy certainly can’t demand much money at this point. The Vikings know better than other teams what he is worth at this point. I don’t see him a hot item this off season.

  46. I watched every press conference Zimmer and Keenum gave this year. The “Zimmer doesn’t like Keenum” line is fake news. Zim gave plenty of kudos to Case Keenum through the year (once saying “we’re lucky to have him”) and after the Monday nighter in Chicago it was clear the Vikings were Keenum’s team. Sorry in Teddy We Trust! THAT is the truth. The only thing you or anyone else can do is speculate that Bridgewater can match or better Keenum. I remain hopeful the Vikes can keep TB but it’s going to be him signing with Arizona or NY, not Keenum. He’s not going anywhere. My guess is #7 signs a prove it deal for 2-years 30 million. Clearly the best QB Minnesota has had in many moons.

  47. edukator4 says:

    January 24, 2018 at 10:56 am

    i love how having peterson now hurts the qb’s numbers. teams were stacking 8 in the box against him. if a guy cant pick apart single coverage, thats on him. maybe learn to perform a convincing play action
    ==============================================

    It’s obvious you didn’t watch any of the games that teddy played. Norv called runs to AP on 1st and second down and then called 5 yard passes when they needed 7.
    When he wasn’t doing that he was calling plays with 5 and 7 step drops with a porous offensive line. Norv did him no favors.

    It does sound ridiculous to say that a qb cannot play with AP, that is, until you stop and think. He can’t block or catch. he also refused to run out of the shotgun, the preferred offense of the team. We aren’t talking about a runner in his prime either. too may of AP runs were stuffed, lost yards or were for minimal games, until he finally broke a big one. it’s a predictable offense. Im not saying Teddy is a superstar, but it’d be cool to see him in an offense with the schackles off and not so dependent on the running game. he never had that. he’s only 26, roll with him and get a above average back up in case his knee is still bad.

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