The New Orleans Saints had the best insurance policy in the league in the 2019 season in the former of backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. After starting quarterback Drew Brees went down for five games with a thumb injury Bridgewater stepped in and led the team to a 5-0 record.
That type of resurgence of Bridgewater’s career led many Saints fans to believe that he could be Brees’s ‘heir apparent’ especially when one considers Brees’s age. However, it was always going to be difficult to upgrade the team at weaker areas while also continue to employ Bridgewater’s services in the 2020 season and beyond.
Instead, New Orleans decided to let Bridgewater hop over to NFC South rival Carolina Panthers. The Saints subsequently signed Jameis Winston to an incredibly cheap and team-friendly deal to help fill the void Bridgewater left.
So, this all begs the question: what if Teddy Bridgewater had re-signed with the Saints?
For starters, there would be no question as to what Taysom Hill’s role on the team would be going forward. There was a ton of debate as to which quarterback would take over for Brees once he decides to hang up his cleats. Many thought it would be Hill who has only ever attempted 13 passes in his NFL career. Others believed it had to be Bridgewater who seamlessly took over for an injured Brees and led the team to an undefeated record during his tenure. If New Orleans had re-signed Bridgewater it would have signaled a long-term commitment to the quarterback that he would be the future of the position in the organization.
Carolina is giving former Saints' QB Teddy Bridgewater a three-year, $63 million deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
Let’s assume the Saints decided to take the plunge and commit to Bridgewater long-term, what would that contract look like? Bridgewater signed with the Panthers on a three-year, $63 million contract. That would have likely been out of the Saints budget, but they may have been able to convince Teddy to return on a bit more team-friendly deal that would have been back-loaded with the promise he was the guy after Brees.
That type of money may have handcuffed New Orleans on being able to re-sign Brees to his two-year, $50 million deal, or sign safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. None of that even mentions how Taysom Hill would have felt about a return knowing his future at the quarterback position with the Saints would be murky at best. Would the 31-year old have signed his tender the team, much less been amenable to the two-year $21 million deal the toolsy player eventually signed this offseason?
None of this is to say that New Orleans would not have brought in some additional talent, but it very likely would not have been the caliber of Sander, Jenkins or even Andrus Peat. Re-signing Bridgewater would have signaled that the team was focused on future sustainability for life after Brees rather than the “all-in” mentality the Saints are currently subscribing to.
Re-signing Bridgewater would have kept the Saints is type of status quo heading into the 2020 season and the squad would have looked much different than it does now. No Jameis, and possibly no Hill, Jenkins, and Sanders. But, would it have been worth it?
Do you think New Orleans should have re-signed Teddy Bridgewater? Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @KadeKistner