In light of the news earlier today that the Minnesota Vikings would not be picking up the fifth-year option on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s contract, we get an important reminder from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
On Teddy Bridgewater: This is his last contract year. If he started on PUP & never came off for ’17, his contract tolls. It adds a 2018 year— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2017
This is correct, according to the National Football League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Specifically, Article 20, Section 2, which reads thus:
Any player placed on a Physically Unable to Perform list (“PUP”) will be paid his full Paragraph 5 Salary while on such list. His contract will not be tolled for the period he is on PUP, except in the last year of his contract, when the player’s contract will be tolled if he is still physically unable to perform his football services as of the sixth regular season game.
Basically, when a contract is “tolled,” it rolls over into the next season. This means that, if Bridgewater spends the entire 2017 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. . .and he’d almost undoubtedly start Training Camp there, at the very least. . .then Teddy Bridgewater would still have one year on his contract with the Vikings when we reach the start of the 2018 league year. The Vikings would then have another chance to decide whether they wanted to pick up his fifth-year option (which would actually then be a sixth-year option) at the price of around $12 million.
Perhaps this is the plan with Bridgewater, then. . .to have him inactive for the entire 2017 season so that the team can make a decision on him vs. Sam Bradford at the start of the 2018 league year. There’s no point in rushing him back before he’s ready, and if another year off for #5 will ensure the best chance for him to come back and lead the Vikings’ offense, then I absolutely wouldn’t be against that sort of thing at all.
But this new information from Ian Rapoport does help to put today’s earlier news in a bit of a different perspective.