We know that two of the Vikings’ quarterbacks from last season are set for free agency on March 14 and it looks like the third will be joining them.
When last we checked in with the league about whether Teddy Bridgewater‘s contract would toll because he spent six games on the physically unable to perform list last season, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said they “will let you know when we have something.” That hasn’t changed, but another league employee reports all signs point toward Bridgewater hitting the open market.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Bridgewater is expected to be a free agent come the start of the new league year. Rapoport adds that the Vikings are not “planning to assert” that Bridgewater’s rights should remain with them for another year.
That’s pretty much what Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said early this month when he framed the Bridgewater contract question as a league matter rather than a team issue. Rapoport followed up his initial report to say “all parties” are in agreement in reply to our tweet about that characterization. If the league isn’t willing to make it an issue, part of the reason may be found in the recent loss of a grievance involving Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron.
McCarron argued he was improperly placed on the NFI list as a rookie and an arbitrator agreed, which leaves McCarron set for unrestricted rather than restricted free agency. Bridgewater could make a similar argument about being ready for medical clearance in Week One and that the Vikings’ more cautious approach had to do with roster machinations rather than his health.