The New York Jets ended weeks of speculation on Wednesday, shipping Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints acquired the former University of Louisville quarterback for a third-round pick, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jets are also sending a sixth-round pick to New Orleans.
Bridgewater, 25, had signed with the Jets this offseason after playing just one regular-season game the last two years, the result of a serious knee injury. In 2015, he started all 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Compensation update on Jets-Saints trade: New York is sending QB Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth-round pick to New Orleans for a third-round pick, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2018
Bridgewater fits into those short-term plans, too. Last year proved how important a figure like Bridgewater can be for a contender. When the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers, who became the league’s highest-paid player on Wednesday, in Week 6, their season derailed in the hands of untested backup Brett Hundley (who was dealt to Seattle on Wednesday).
When the Eagles lost Carson Wentz in Week 14, they turned to Nick Foles, who had started 36 games and once threw 27 touchdown passes in a season. You may have heard: Foles led the Eagles to the Super Bowl, winning the game’s MVP award.
Just because a backup quarterback won the Super Bowl last season doesn’t mean a trend has started. But the fates of the Eagles and Packers last season proved how important a backup quarterback can be, especially to a team in position to win a Super Bowl.
The Saints have built their team for 2018, but behind Brees they had only Tom Savage, Taysom Hill and J.T. Barrett, none of whom could be counted on to win games as a starter. Adding Bridgewater, who has performed well, ensures one injury won’t completely unravel their hopes.
The Jets deserve credit for converting a $500,000 Bridgewater investment into third-round draft capital. Having already mortgaged the future in a trade for rookie pass rusher Marcus Davenport, the Saints doubled down to bolster their all-important quarterback room.
Judging by the strength of their roster and the aggressive nature of their team-building efforts, there’s a Super Bowl-or-bust feeling in New Orleans this year.