A day after the word got out that the Minnesota Vikings were not going to use either their Franchise or Transition Player Tag on quarterback Case Keenum, we’re getting word that another of their quarterbacks will be hitting the free agent market in a couple of weeks.
Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com is reporting that the Vikings plan to let quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hit the free agent market in a couple of weeks.
This apparently means that the Vikings don’t expect Bridgewater’s contract to toll under the rules set by the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that we’ve discussed so many times in this space. It also apparently means that, at least initially, they’re not going to bring Teddy Bridgewater back into the fold after his recovery from his devastating knee injury.
We know the story of what Bridgewater has been through over the past two seasons, and his getting back into a game this past season against the Cincinnati Bengals was a genuinely great moment in a season that was filled with them. From a personal standpoint, it’s a bit sad to hear that the Vikings won’t be bringing Bridgewater back.
On the other hand, it’s a business above everything else. Nobody knows how far Bridgewater has progressed better than the Vikings do, and if they don’t think he’s ready to step in and be the guy at quarterback. . .well, then it stands to reason that he’s not going to be the quarterback of the future that the Vikings hoped when they drafted him in 2014. It’s not the Vikings’ fault, it’s not Teddy Bridgewater’s fault, it’s not anybody’s fault, really. Bridgewater appeared to be ready to take the next step in his development prior to his injury, and now it appears that the team doesn’t think he’s progressed to the point of being able to help the team at this juncture.
I’m not sure how big the market for Bridgewater is going to be, given his question marks. Perhaps the Vikings think that teams will give him a miss early in the free agency period and that they could potentially bring him back later. Perhaps these rumors are just that. . .rumors. Perhaps Bridgewater will be back with the Vikings when it’s all said and done after all.
But, if the report is accurate, it appears that the Teddy Bridgewater era in Minnesota could, potentially, be over before it ever really got a chance to get off the ground. In a perfect world, Bridgewater would be able to realize his pre-injury potential in a Vikings’ uniform, but as it stands now, it doesn’t appear that’s going to be the case.
On a personal level, I hope that Bridgewater has a great rest of his career. He’s a genuinely good guy and I don’t understand why anyone would wish him anything less. Again, we’ll have to see how the rest of the situation plays out, but if the reports are accurate, here’s hoping for the best for #5 wherever the road might take him.