|ADP:||Round: 14, Pick: 11|
|Ht / Wt:||6'2" / 214 lb.|
|Born:||November 10, 1992|
|Drafted:||2014 / Rd. 1 (32)|
The Panthers and Bridgewater have agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Once teams can announce signings with unrestricted free agents Wednesday, the Panthers will officially have moved on from Cam Newton (foot). Bridgewater himself fared well in six extensive outings (five starts) in placed of an injured Drew Brees last season, completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,370 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions during that stretch. In Carolina, Bridgewater will have perhaps the most versatile running back (Christian McCaffrey) at his disposal along with a pair of young wide receivers (D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel).
The Panthers and Bridgewater are reportedly working toward a three-year deal thought to be in the $60 million range, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Mortensen notes that the deal "is not done as they work out details but it is expected to be complete when (the) new league year opens Wednesday." Assuming the anticipated signing happens, Bridgewater would be in line to take over the Panthers' starting QB job, with the team poised to move on from Cam Newton.
Bridgewater is expected to have a strong market for his services as an unrestricted free agent this spring, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: With Drew Brees likely coming back for another season and Taysom Hill still under contract, Bridgewater figures to leave New Orleans for a shot at a starting job. He won each of his five starts in 2019, completing 69.7 percent of passes for 7.3 yards per attempt in those games, with just nine sacks, two interceptions and no fumbles. The one negative for Bridgewater is a crowded market for free-agent QBs, including Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jameis Winston.
Bridgewater averaged 241.0 passing yards per game while completing 69.7 percent of his passes and throwing nine touchdowns to just two interceptions in five starts in 2019.
Analysis: He filled in admirably for Drew Brees as the Saints' starter from Weeks 3-7, leading the team to a perfect record in that span while playing quality football. He'll be a free agent in 2020 after two seasons with New Orleans, though Drew Brees and Taysom Hill will be in the same boat, creating an interesting dilemma. The Saints spent a third-round pick to acquire Bridgewater from the Jets in 2018, though his future with the organization is yet unknown.
Bridgewater completed 24 of 36 passes for 240 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in the Saints' 13-6 win over the Jaguars on Sunday. He also netted zero yards on his three rushes.
Analysis: It was far from a smooth offensive game for either squad, but as he's proven capable of over the last several weeks, Bridgewater did enough to lead the Saints to victory. The veteran remained free of any mistakes and battled through three sacks on the afternoon. Bridgewater also helmed an 11-play, 75-yard fourth-quarter march that knocked 6:22 off the clock and culminated in a four-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook to seal the win for New Orleans. He also connected with six different pass catchers on the afternoon overall. Bridgewater will look to conquer the thorny challenge that is the Bears defense in a Week 7 matchup if he does indeed draw at least one more start in place of Drew Brees (thumb).
Bridgewater completed 26 of 34 passes for 314 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in the Saints' 31-24 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday. He also rushed five times for seven yards.
Analysis: After a pair of "game manager" efforts in his first two starts in place of Drew Brees (thumb), Bridgewater went into vintage Brees mode with an outstanding all-around performance. Much like the man he's filling in for, Bridgewater displayed spectacular chemistry with Michael Thomas, connecting with him for 11 completions, 182 yards and touchdown passes of 14 and 12 yards. Brees resumed throwing this past week but still likely remains at least a couple of weeks away from returning in a best-case scenario; therefore, Bridgewater will have a chance to build on his stellar effort against the Jaguars in Week 6.
Bridgewater completed 23 of 30 pass attempts for 193 yards and an interception in Sunday's 12-10 win over the Cowboys.
Analysis: Bridgewater wasn't able to lead a touchdown drive against a tough Dallas defense, but the backup was able to keep the chains moving between the 20s and provide just enough to help secure a close victory. The 26-year-old may not put up enough statistics to warrant fantasy relevance, but he is helping fantasy owners by feeding the team's two star players (Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas) on a weekly basis. Bridgewater has a propensity to hit the safe underneath routes, so we shouldn't expect huge numbers even in a soft matchup against the Buccaneers next Sunday.
Bridgewater completed 19 of 27 pass attempts for 177 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 against the Seahawks. He also rushed the ball three times for 12 yards.
Analysis: Bridgewater was helped by his defense and special teams, as the units put the first two touchdowns on the board for the Saints. However, he went on to orchestrate consecutive touchdown drives -- one to end the first half and the other to begin the second -- that put the team up big. Bridgewater didn't work down the field extensively by averaging only 6.6 yards per attempt, but did enough to post a respectable line while also maintaining the value of both Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Perhaps most importantly, Bridgewater appears to be the clear starter and primary quarterback in the absence of Drew Brees (thumb) as Taysom Hill did not attempt a pass and rushed the ball just once for five yards. Bridgewater will look to keep things going in a primetime matchup Week 4 against the Cowboys.
Bridgewater is in line to receive the start at quarterback Sunday against the Seahawks and see the majority of the Saints' snaps behind center, a source tells Dianna Russini of ESPN.
Analysis: After Drew Brees (thumb) underwent surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him for six weeks, coach Sean Payton was reluctant to give details about his plans at quarterback while the franchise signal-caller was on the mend. Though Russini notes that the other healthy quarterback on the roster, Taysom Hill, will be "sprinkled in throughout the game," Bridgewater will step in as the primary replacement for Brees in what will mark just his second regular-season start in four years. Since suffering a devastating non-contact knee injury in August 2016, Bridgewater has seen action in parts of seven games, completing 31 of 55 attempts (56.3 percent) for 283 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Bridgewater may split the QB workload with Taysom Hill in the absence of Drew Brees (thumb), John DeShazier of the Saints' official site reports.
Analysis: After Brees departed Sunday's game against the Rams, Bridgewater directed the Saints offense the rest of the way. Bridgewater's performance wasn't exactly pristine, as the Saints managed just nine points across nine possessions while he completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards. On Wednesday, coach Sean Payton wouldn't commit to Bridgewater as the starter moving forward, which leaves the door open for Hill to get snaps under center at some point. It may just be a strategic move to force upcoming opponents to game plan for both Bridgewater and Hill, but Bridgewater's experience would seem to give him the upper hand for most, if not all, of the quarterback reps Sunday in Seattle.
Although Bridgewater will have the first opportunity to replace Drew Brees (thumb) during his absence, coach Sean Payton could be quick to replace him with Taysom Hill if Bridgewater struggles early, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Bridgewater had Payton's full support Monday after a so-so performance in emergency duty versus the Rams on Sunday following Brees' first-quarter exit. The 26-year-old signal caller completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, a serviceable but uninspired line that ultimately failed to give the Saints a realistic chance of keeping pace with Los Angeles. While Payton named the team's poor offensive line play and 11 penalties as primary culprits for the offensive struggles, he may not be as tolerant should the Saints find themselves at 1-3 following their next pair of contests. Hill outperformed Bridgewater in preseason and also is more of a dual threat than the current starter, making him a natural candidate for a crack at the top job should the offense be in need of a spark a couple of games into Brees' projected 6-to-8-week absence.
With Drew Brees expected to undergo thumb surgery and miss approximately six weeks, Bridgewater is in line to fill in as the Saints' starting QB in the meantime, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Bridgewater -- a 2014 first-rounder -- has starting experience from his days with the Vikings prior to suffering a brutal knee injury in August of 2016 that stalled his career. Now further removed from that issue, Bridgewater should be a capable fill-in for Brees in the coming weeks and is definitely worth an add for those looking to secure QB depth or simply scrambling to replace an injured player like Brees or Ben Roethlisberger (elbow).
Bridgewater completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in the Saints' 27-9 loss to the Rams on Sunday. He also rushed twice for five yards and had a fumble, but it recovered by the offense.
Analysis: Drew Brees got off only five attempts before exiting the game with a hand injury caused by a collision with the helmet of Aaron Donald on what would be his final throw of the afternoon. That brought on Bridgewater for only his second taste of meaningful regular-season action since January 2016. The 26-year-old was understandably a bit rusty under the duress of an aggressive Rams defense that attempted to capitalize on his presence in the contest, but he did manage to remain free of turnovers since the Saints recovered his one fumble. Bridgewater did show some decent chemistry with lead receiver Michael Thomas, but he definitely has plenty of work to do in terms of rapport with the rest of his pass-catching corps. If Brees is unable to suit up for a Week 3 road battle against the Seahawks, Bridgewater is likely to get the starting nod, although jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill has at least a slight chance of being considered for the opportunity.
Bridgewater (illness) completed 15 of 26 passes for 126 yards with zero touchdowns or interceptions in Saturday's preseason game against the Jets.
Analysis: Bridgewater played through the illness in the previous preseason contest but looked significantly more comfortable Saturday. The 26-year-old remains primed to begin the season as the Saints' top backup behind Drew Brees.
Bridgewater completed five of 12 passes for 40 yards with one interception in Sunday's preseason win over the Chargers.
Analysis: Getting the start with Drew Brees on the sidelines, Bridgewater struggled to move the chains consistently but didn't get much help, either -- his pick came when a simple dump-off pass in the red zone clanked off Dwayne Washington's hands straight up into the air, with the ball falling to Chargers safety Jaylen Watkins. Per Mike Triplett of ESPN, coach Sean Peyton also revealed after the game that Bridgewater was feeling under the weather, so it's hard to read too much into this performance. Bridgewater remains the No. 2 QB for the Saints, with run-pass option specialist Taysom Hill as the No. 3.
Bridgewater said Wednesday that he feels healthier now than he did before sustaining a non-contact knee injury in 2016, Amie Just of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Analysis: "I can honestly say that this is the best I've ever felt in my six years," Bridgewater said, referring to his six seasons in the NFL. Bridgewater turned down a contract offer from the Dolphins earlier this offseason, opting instead to reprise his role as Drew Brees' backup, and possible eventual heir, in New Orleans.
The Saints signed Bridgewater on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Bridgewater considered a contract offer from the Dolphins, which would have included a chance to start in 2019. In the end, though, he's returning to the Saints and the potential to be Drew Brees' heir apparent. There's no telling how much tread Brees has left on his tires, but Bridgewater again will act as his primary backup.
The agreement between Bridgewater and the Saints isn't official, as the quarterback is still weighing an offer from Miami, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Bridgewater may be having second thoughts about committing to another season with no chance to win a starting job. The Dolphins wouldn't be able to put much talent around him, but they can at least promise a quarterback competition this summer. It's also quite possible the final decision simply comes down to money. Coach Sean Payton has dropped multiple hints that he views Bridgewater as the eventual replacement for Drew Brees.
Bridgewater plans to re-sign with the Saints, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Bridgewater reportedly turned down a larger contract from Miami, preferring to stay in New Orleans where he may eventually have a chance to replace Drew Brees as the starting quarterback. The 26-year-old struggled when he finally got on the field Week 17 this past season, playing alongside other backups in a 33-14 loss to the Panthers. There's no guarantee Bridgewater ever gets his shot as the starter in New Orleans, as the 40-year-old Brees just posted the best passer rating (115.7) of his 18-year career.
Bridgewater connected on 14 of 22 passes for 118 yards, a touchdown, and an interception during Sunday's 33-14 loss to the Panthers. He added 12 yards on four carries.
Analysis: Bridgewater hadn't completed a pass since 2015 and had attempted just three in regular-season action since then, so some rust was to be expected. Still, it was a feel-good story to see him loft a nine-yard touchdown to Tre'Quan Smith early in the fourth quarter, the game already well under control. The feel-goodery probably ends there. If all goes to plan for New Orleans, Sunday will have featured Bridgewater's last meaningful snaps of the season.
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