The Carolina Panthers landed a new starting quarterback on Monday by trading with the New York Jets for Sam Darnold, a move that theoretically makes Teddy Bridgewater surplus to requirements.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer didn't directly say the team will trade Bridgewater before the draft opens on April 29, per The Athletic's Joe Person, but Fitterer suggested the first-round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft will soon have a new football home:
Scott Fitterer on Teddy Bridgewater: "We're going to find the right place him, whether it's here or someplace else."— Joe Person (@josephperson) April 5, 2021
Spoiler alert: It will be someplace else.
Bridgewater has been linked with the Denver Broncos in trade rumors, but Mike Klis of Denver's 9News explained why such a deal may be difficult to complete:
To move Bridgewater, CAR should research how DEN dealt Case Keenum to WAS in 2018.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) April 5, 2021
Keenum had $7M guar of $18M. DEN paid him $500K restructure bonus and $3.5M of his $7M guar; Washington paid other $3.5M. Keenum wound up w/$7.5M.
Bridgewater has $10M guar of $18M pay. #9sports
Mike's right -- going to take something creative like this to move Teddy. https://t.co/tZ6TM492kR— Joe Person (@josephperson) April 5, 2021
Per multiple reports, the Panthers will exercise the fifth-year option attached to Darnold's contract but could look to keep Bridgewater through at least the start of the 2021 season by having him restructure his deal or accept a pay cut. With the salary cap dropping by nearly $16 million and the majority of teams either set at quarterback or looking to spend a first-round pick on a signal-caller, Bridgewater may find he has few options for the upcoming campaign if the Panthers ask him for cap relief.