Broncos land QB Bridgewater from Panthers in NFL trade

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Teddy Bridgewater, last year's starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, was traded to the Denver Broncos on Wednesday in a deal on the eve of the NFL Draft.

The Broncos, lacking a veteran signal caller, sent the Panthers a sixth-round pick in this week's draft, the 191st overall, in exchange for Bridgewater, who was the final first-round pick, 32nd overall, in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Panthers reportedly also will pay a portion of Bridgewater's salary for the 2021 campaign, while unloading his contract eases Carolina's NFL salary cap concerns for 2021 and 2022.

Bridgewater became expendable when the Panthers made a trade with the New York Jets earlier this month for quarterback Sam Darnold.

George Paton, named the Broncos new general manager in January, spent the prior six years as an assistant general manager with the Minnesota Vikings, the team Bridgewater played for in his first two NFL campaigns.

"Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room," Paton said. "He's a talented player and leader who's had success in this league in a number of different situations.

"Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he's going to compete and do everything he can to help us win."

After two solid seasons with the Vikings that included an 11-5 record and Pro Bowl berth in 2015, Bridgewater suffered a severe left knee injury during a team practice and missed the entire 2016 campaign.

He only played one game in 2017 and was traded to New Orleans, where he spent two seasons before joining the Panthers last year. He went 5-0 as a fill-in starter for injured Drew Brees in 2019.

In 15 games last season for Carolina, Bridgewater completed 340 of 492 passes (69.1%) for 3,733 yards and 15 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also ran 53 times for 279 yards and five touchdowns.

Obtaining Bridgewater, who figures to fight incumbent Drew Lock for the Broncos starting job, opens up more options for Denver's ninth overall pick in Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft.