Teddy Bridgewater
What should the Jets do with Teddy Bridgewater? (Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Jets have their Jetsiah, Sam Darnold. For the first time in what seems like really the first time, the Jets have a real franchise quarterback. The preseason doesn’t truly mean anything but Sam Darnold has looked as good as advertised. He looks poised, cool, calm, and collected. However, the time to start Darnold day one is a topic up for debate. Teddy Bridgewater is no slouch himself. Bridgewater, 26, already has a playoff win under his belt and has proven to be a really capable starting quarterback. Let’s just say Darnold does get named the day one starter for the Jets. What could New York get for Teddy Bridgewater on the trade market?

The consensus around the NFL is that Darnold will open as the week one starter. In a draft that produced five 1st round quarterbacks, the USC quarterback was my number one ranked quarterback prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s really no surprise that Darnold will be the first one give the chance to start. Darnold has looked as good as advertised changing protections at the line of scrimmage on his own and making some big wow plays. It just never seems like anything bothers him which is really important in a city like New York.

Rookie quarterbacks usually don’t make crazy playoff runs or anything from the get go but what if Darnold starts the year 4-1? That really doesn’t seem impossible given the fact that the Jets start the year by playing the Lions, Dolphins, Browns, Jaguars, and Broncos. The AFC is really, really bad. The problem is this Jets roster isn’t great. They probably overachieved to win 5 games a year ago due to a coaching staff that is very underrated. The Jets have a lot of holes on this roster and have a depleted rookie class after dealing away 3 second round picks to move up for Darnold. Moving Bridgewater is probably the right call since Josh McCown is more than fine at the backup spot.

AFC East 2018 NFL Draft Grades: Jets Win, Bills Roll The Dice

The Philadelphia Eagles blueprint has to be the one the Jets have in the back of their minds. Philadelphia was a team that traded away picks for their franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz. Wentz who was my top-rated quarterback in 2016 coming out of the draft, by the way, proved to be worth the cost of acquisition. What Philadelphia really did to kick-start their Super Bowl run was by replacing those picks in the Sam Bradford trade. The Eagles found a team super desperate for a quarterback. Minnesota interestingly enough became that hopeless team when Teddy Bridgewater went down with a non-contact knee injury. Bradford was sent to a loaded Vikings team for a 2017 first round pick and 2018 fourth round pick. Those picks turned into Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat. Barnett just so happened to be the guy who came up with the fumble recovery to clinch the Eagles Super Bowl victory. That’s exactly what the Jets need to try to replicate.

Trying to extract a first round pick from a team for Teddy Bridgewater seems like a bit of a stretch. Sure, shoot for the moon but I’m not sure that kind of Bradford deal exists. Then again, if you keep Bridgewater on the roster, you can just let him walk and get your third round comp pick when a team pays up in free agency. Given those facts, a second-round pick and a player seems like a fair return. Finding a team that will give that up that kind of package seems difficult to locate at the moment.

Dolphins: Riding and eventually dying with Ryan Tannehill.

Broncos: Just gave Case Keenum a lot of money so that doesn’t seem logical.

Bengals: Is any franchise more scared of change than the Bengals? Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis will probably stay married forever.

Jaguars: Blake Bortles stinks but Jacksonville refuses to believe that so I guess they continue to ride with the Blaketanic.

Titans: Marcus Mariota also stinks. 13 touchdowns to 15 interceptions prove this notion. Here’s another team that’s paralyzed by a quarterback who’s vastly overrated.

Giants: I think we’re going to find out real quick that Eli Manning should have already retired. The Giants refuse to suspect that but that’s their problem.

Bears: I can’t wait for the world to realize Mitchell Trubisky probably belongs in the CFL.

Bucs: Did we find our winner?

Tampa Bay just seems like the perfect landing spot in a Teddy Bridgewater trade. The organization is probably growing frustrated with Jameis Winston and rightfully so. Stealing crab legs, getting in fights on the field, trying to eat W’s with weird pre-game speeches, and groping Uber Drivers doesn’t resonate with the qualities you think of a franchise quarterback. Winston is suspended three games to start the 2018 season but the real shame of it is that the Bucs actually have a pretty good team. Dirk Koetter is a trainwreck of a head coach and now this team has to run out Ryan Fitzpatrick.

New York Jets 2018 Training Camp Preview

What if the Bucs decide to just start over? Fire Koetter, move on from Winston, and acquire Bridgewater to be the future? That doesn’t sound like a bad option. How about a 2nd round pick and Noah Spence for Bridgewater? A year from now you can recoup picks for Winston. A future offense with Bridgewater, Mike Evans, and Ronald Jones sounds fun. Let’s make it happen!

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