Bridgewater has insurance against his potential draft-day slide, but . . . .


Football players who have yet to get paid for playing football often buy insurance to protect themselves against injuries suffered while playing football without getting paid.

Former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has acquired the standard protection against a career-ending injury. According to Darren Rovell of, Bridgewater also has purchased a policy that will pay benefits simply if he slides down the board — as many believe he will.

More and more draft experts predict that Bridgewater won’t be taken in round one. Most recently, Gil Brandt of suggested that Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could be selected before Bridgewater.

The policy pays up to $5 million tax-free, setting up a potentially intriguing wrinkle for Bridgewater’s potential on-air homage to Aaron Rodgers, Brady Quinn, and Geno Smith. With each passing team that passes on Bridgewater, Bridgewater possibly wins more money.

Maybe ESPN can tuck in the corner of a seizure-inducing draft screen a “Bridgewater insurance jackpot” graphic, with a number that increases with each pick that isn’t him.  And then Chris Berman can call him “Teddy Bridge-over-troubled-water-that-shouldn’t-be-so-troubled-because-he-gets-insurance-money.”

“When Bridgewater bought the loss-of-value policy for less than $20,000,” Rovell writes, “he was projected to be the No. 3 pick in the draft, and a source with knowledge of the policy said he will start to collect money if he falls out of the top 11.

“With each drop in draft slot after that, Bridgewater will pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

While the article points out in multiple spots that Bridgewater can collect the money only if he can prove that the loss in value resulted from injury or illness, that angle doesn’t receive nearly the attention it deserves. It deserves far more attention in the article because, well, THERE’S . . . NO . . . EVIDENCE that Bridgewater has suffered an injury or illness that would impact his value.

If/when Bridgewater slides, it will happen because of his mediocre Pro Day workout, which should never be mediocre when the receivers are familiar, the routes are scripted, and the defense is invisible. It also will happen in part due to the results of private workouts, which won’t be known — and if reported the information may not be accurate.

If Bridgewater truly purchased for less than $20,000 a policy that pays $5 million if he ends up out of the first round, the insurance company won’t pay a penny without clear proof that the free-fall falls within the terms of the policy. The protection surely isn’t against subpar performances during workouts or meetings with teams, but against catastrophic events, like getting hit by a proverbial bus, being struck by actual lightning, or having an unfortunate encounter with a rattlesnake.

In fairness to, the article — if read carefully — makes clear that Bridgewater: (1) must prove injury or illness; and (2) by all appearances can’t. But if that’s the case, why is this even a story?

A cursory review of the story and/or a quick scan of the headline creates the impression that Bridgewater is in play to get paid, even though he isn’t.  Which means that the average drive-by reader likely will carry into next Thursday night the mistaken impression that Bridgewater has five million reasons to not be upset if he spends the first night of the draft not being drafted.

30 responses to “Bridgewater has insurance against his potential draft-day slide, but . . . .

  1. Whomever Underwrote that Policy must have an airtight reason that he can get paid….if they didn’t they’re really dumb!!

  2. Wait a minute.

    Are you suggesting that ESPN published an article that is really about nothing, and tried turning a non-story into a story, all for the sake of getting more hits on their website?

    Say it ain’t so!

  3. What insurance company wrote a $5m policy on $20k premiums? The “or illness” language is the vague part of the policy. Did he have a stomach bug the day of his workouts? Does he have a personality disorder that scared off teams? I see a settlement of the claim that will but some of that $5m in Teddy’s pocket. Certainly more than the $20k he paid in premiums.

  4. So, Bridgewater can have a bad pro-day workout, slide down the draft board to a playoff team late in the first round………still get paid high draft pick money because of insurance…………..sit on the bench and learn for a year or two behind a decent aging quarterback………………and not get the hell beat out of him playing behind a suspect O-Line.

    Sounds like a win-win for Bridgewater to me.

    Now, how can I bet on myself to tank and prosper out of it?

  5. The ironic part of this article is the people in the comments section making comments about him getting paid even though he wasn’t injured, when this article, if you actually read it, concludes that he likely WONT GET PAID.

  6. I’ve actually been one of the people who hadn’t lost any confidence in Bridgewater’s elite potential … until now. What does it say about a quarterback prospect who doubts his ability to convince NFL GM’s that he’s the real deal?

  7. The Draft is pushed back too far and the sports ppl who cover it are looking for anything to publish since they have beaten every mock draft into submission.

  8. @mustangqb9

    NO. That’s what the concluding remarks of this article are pointing out.

    The policy was written to insure against injury or illness NOT inept proday performance.

  9. What I’m curious about is what is his burden of proof if/when (probably when) he tries to collect on the policy? Wouldn’t the insurance company have to contact all 31 teams that didn’t draft him and ask them specifically WHY they didn’t draft him? They’d also have to contact the team that eventually DID draft him and ask them why they waited til they did. And if that’s the case, would only one team have to say that he looked injured or ill in order for him to collect? As another poster said, without seeing the EXACT contract language its all speculation, but knowing insurance companies it seems like it would be almost impossible for him to collect.

  10. With the Vikings picking at #8, it is unlikely Bridgewater will not be drafted in the top 10. He is everything the Vikings are looking for, he’s a sure fire bust, he’s a waste if picked in the top 10, and he has one of the lowest Wonderlic scores giving him something in common with the Viking fan base.

  11. How did he pay the 20k premiums if he was still under ncaa rules till he declared
    Lets go into details. The parents cant pay its more then 500 dollar gift
    Ncaa the anal squad

  12. I wouldnt mind my saints taking a stab at him in the 3rd as a developmental QB to succed Brees and would have time to develop just not in round 1 or 2…he did good for Louisville and Paytons good with qbs

  13. Insurance companies DID NOT become stupid rich by paying out on policies.

    The risk analysis would have been a no go, no how, no way.

    Even the ones for injuries have all kinds of provisions.

  14. He will go in 2nd rd like geno did
    Plenty of qb in this Draft
    His workout hurt him he couldnt throw ball without his magic gloves lol

  15. Won’t make it past the Vikings at 8. You don’t pass up franchise QBs, and that would mean 5+ QB desperate teams all passed on him. No one has yet to give me a good reason of why you would take the “project” Bortles over Teddy. Because he has “prototypical size”? What does that mean? Jamarcus Russell had prototypical size. You think people would learn considering what happened 3 months ago in the SB. Bridgewater is the best QB in this draft on film and its not that close.

  16. Tax Free? Why is the law set up where this guy could have the flu on his Pro Day, throw terribly and then get “lost wages” without having to pay taxes. If he is getting the wages replaced why shouldn’t the law tax those wages like the rest of ours?

  17. The only reason he slides is because he’s black. Therefore any team who passes on his is racist and should be BANNED FOR LIFE!!!!!!!

  18. I’m sure the language of the policy requires a major injury. That’s what would take for someone to take a major slide in the draft based on injury. A sprained ankle isn’t going to cut it.

    At this point even if Teddy tore his rotator cuff the insurance company can claim he didn’t fall because of the injury but because of his pro day workout. I don’t see how he can even file a claim.

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