The New Orleans Saints went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater starting at quarterback, which has set Bridgewater up nicely for the future.
It appeared as if the New Orleans Saints‘ chances of being the top seed in the NFC diminished in Week 2 when the team lost to the Los Angeles Rams and more importantly, lost Drew Brees to a torn ligament in his right thumb.
At the time, it looked like Brees was going to be out for six weeks, giving the 1-1 Saints an extended challenge to stay afloat in the playoff picture before Brees’ return.
Brees ended up only being out for five weeks but he really did not need to come back early. The team more than stayed afloat, they established why they are the best team in the NFC by going 5-0 without Brees.
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The defense really stepped up and won two games for the Saints in which they scored 12 and 13 points, respectively. However, they could not have done it without the play of Teddy Bridgewater, who proved why the Saints made him the highest-paid backup quarterback.
Bridgewater got better and better every week and ended his five-game stretch with some impressive numbers. Bridgewater was on a 16-game pace of 3,856 yards, 28 touchdowns and a 67.7 completion percentage in the five games played.
Only eight quarterbacks in the NFL had 3,800 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 65 percent last season.
In today’s NFL, where it is really hard to find a good quarterback, Bridgewater is extremely valuable. His strong play has made him one of the biggest free-agent targets after the season and there will be a lot of interest in making him a starter.
There is a chance that he returns as an in-between option between Brees and the team’s future franchise quarterback if Brees retires after this year. However, especially after this injury, I think Brees has at least one more year left in him.
That will lead Bridgewater to take a big offer from another team to become a starter. There are several potential fits in the league, but we already have his future team nailed down.
It’s obvious that it is going to be the Chicago Bears, who should be ready to move on from Mitchell Trubisky. The quarterback position is the one area holding the Bears back and Bridgewater can help solve that problem.
The Bears do not have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, and while they do have two second-round picks, the franchise quarterbacks will likely be gone by then.
More importantly, the Bears’ roster is ready to win now. Sure, they could draft a rookie quarterback, but by the time that rookie irons things out and lives up to full potential in three years the current core will be gone.
So they don’t have the draft assets to draft a bonafide quarterback in the first round and definitely should not trade any more draft capital to bring in a quarterback via trade. That leaves the free-agent market, which consists of veterans that won’t move teams and Bridgewater, who has upped his value tremendously in five games.
Bridgewater turns 27 this November, so age is on his side. The Bears can bring him in on a five-year deal, draft a quarterback midway through that tenure, and have Bridgewater be the quarterback of the present while setting up nicely for long-term success at the position.
The New Orleans Saints benefitted from Bridgewater’s performance over the five games but Bridgewater himself benefitted much more as he is now set for a nice payday.