Sam Darnold is in, Teddy Bridgewater is out, and the Carolina Panthers are apparently helping Bridgewater decide where he wants to go next.
The Panthers finalized a trade with the New York Jets for Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2017, on Monday. Darnold is now their Quarterback of the Future. Bridgewater is still a nice quarterback, just no longer the main man with the Panthers.
Bridgewater realized all this after speaking with the Panthers, reported Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Now, the Panthers are giving Bridgewater the chance to speak with other teams to try to facilitate a trade, Rapoport added.
None of this is to say the Panthers are totally against bringing Bridgewater back. None of it is to say he’s completely against returning. Unfortunate injuries to starters happen. Lousy play from starters happens too. Bridgewater will still be the primary backup and emergency starter.
For the Panthers, Bridgewater could still be a primary piece. All they appear to be doing is giving Bridgewater the chance to make that call.
Bridgewater is certainly a capable starter. The issue now is most teams that need a starter are going to try to find that guy in the draft. Others have already filled the role with trades or free agency. So Bridgewater will have to find the right fit. It may be somewhere else. It may be Carolina. Only he can decide.