Who Says Teddy's Getting Traded?

I woke up this morning with a clear and burning need to write this post. There are way too many posts, blogs, and sports show talking heads talking about the trade value for Teddy Bridgewater. Even on this site, the common theme is what do we get for Teddy Bridgewater. I'm going to give you two real life scenerios for comparison.

In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Carson Wentz after trading for Sam Bradford. Bradford played well in 2015 for the Eagles, starting 14 games, throwing for 3700 yards and 19 TD's. The Eagles went in another direction with a new staff and drafted Carson Wentz. Bradford was traded, Wentz became Wentz, and the rest is history. The main thing in this however, is that the Eagles traded Wentz to a QB needy team and got back a 1st and 4th round draft pick. This scenerio is usually the one referenced when talking about Teddy Bridgewater trade value possibilities. What is often not mentioned, is that the year prior to this trade The Eagles traded to get Sam Bradford. They traded Nick Foles, a 2nd and a 4th round pick. In other words, Bradfords trade value was a starting quarterback, an early and a mid round draft pick.

The next scenerio is more important to me. That is Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Drew Brees played with the Chargers from 2001-2005. Phillip Rivers was drafted in 2004 as the heir apparent. However, because of being beat out in competition Philip Rivers sat the 2004 season, and 2005 season. He threw a combined 30 passes in the NFL his first two years, and didn't see the field as a starter until he was 25 years old. Brees is currently 39 years old, has thrown 488 touchdowns, for 70,000 yards. Philip Rivers is 36 years old and has thrown for 342 passing touchdowns and 50,000 yards. Understanding that Rivers lost two years in this, he is still a whopping 146 TD's behind Drew Brees. Brees is also an 11 time pro bowler and first team all pro. Rivers has been a 7 time pro bowler, and never been first team all pro.

Brees, like Teddy Bridgewater was knocked for being undersized, coming off an injury. Brees had a throwing shoulder injury in which the thought was he may never be the same, whereas Bridgewater has a knee raising questions as to long term durabilty. Brees slight stature was compounded by his lack of arm strength, something similar to Bridgewater. What he did have was an ability to win, and complete passes at a high percentage. His 65% completion rate his last two years starting in San Diego are identical to Bridgewaters only two years of starting in Minnesota.

Statistically speaking, so far this preseason, Bridgewater has completed 74% of his passes. he's averaged 9.2 yards per attempt to Darnold's 5.45 per attempt. His quarterback rating is 112 to Darnold and McCown's 82 and 83 passer rating. This is preseason however, so I'll try to talk regular season. Bridgewater's trajectory is very similar to Drew Brees. I looked at Bridgewater in the 2014 & 2015 season and compared to Brees' 2004/2005 seasons. With the exception of TD's and interceptions where Bridgewater beat out Brees in his first two season as a starter, Bridgewaters 1st and 2nd years in the league compare well with Brees 4th and 5th years in the NFL with each getting one pro bowl nod, one playoff appearance in which they performed well, they were also 25 entering their turning point as far as being franchise quarterbacks. To compare similarities see below.

Bridgewater stats:

Brees stats:

I am not at all saying that Bridgewater continue his career at the rate that Brees is finishing his. But what I am pointing out is that in the Chargers case, they let the best man play. They didn't worry about the rookie in the room and getting him on the field. Even now, how many of us would pick a 39 year old Drew Brees over a 36 year old Philip Rivers? The Jets need to let Bridgewater start against the first team with the Giants (they won't), and see how he shakes out. In the end, the best player should start, because winning in open competition is what drives up talent level, increases productivity, and ultimately produces more wins. I'm sure some will say that's short sited. To those same people I say, Drew Brees has gotten another 13 years of elite play. Do you want to risk 13 years of Bridgewater probowls, playoffs and Super Bowls? Some will say he's on a 1 year contract, and you can't pay him the money. To those I say McCown is on a 1 year 10 million dollar contract, Darnold is locked in, and Bridgewater is making 6 million. That means combine Bridgewater and McCowns salary and you've got minimum 16 million to pay Bridgewater if he plays lights out next season. The thought being again, to let the best man win.

Competition, intelligence, leadership, and production should all drive who plays the majority of snaps on a team. All the other what if's and "what we're trying to accomplish" are just garbage on the side of the road clouding the ultimate quote. "You play to win the game!". If that quote was true a decade ago, it still holds true now. Let the best player play, and forget the rest, salaries, draft ranking, giving a guy a chance. We didn't give Hackenburg a chance because he sucked, and no one is second guessing him not being on this team now. I think Darnold is good, but if the competition isn't close, if the on field production isn't close, don't make excuses for him to start.

I don't think this is the popular opinion by far. I also think Darnold will probably start game 1 this year. I'm also fine with that IF Darnold is consistent from a production standpoint with the other guys in the room. However, based on game film, Bridgewater has been better in the early preseason when the pads come on. If he clearly outplays Darnold/McCown, I hope he's starting week 1 and not being thought of as trade bait. We might look back on this years later and say "he used to play for the Jets" while watching his Canton speach.

This is a FanPost written by a registered member of this site. The views expressed here are those of the author alone and not those of anybody affiliated with Gang Green Nation or SB Nation.