Buccaneers should make bold move for Teddy Bridgewater

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to face the fact that Jameis Winston isn’t a reliable player. That’s why they should bring Teddy Bridgewater in.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers understood that drafting Jameis Winston meant they’d have to deal with his off-the-field baggage. Unfortunately, it’s really come back to haunt them this season.

Winston’s three-game suspension for an incident with an Uber driver back in 2016 is going to really hurt the team’s chances to make the playoffs.

Some Buccaneers fans are content to roll Ryan Fitzpatrick out to be the team’s starter for the opening three games. He’s a serviceable backup, but this offense needs more than that from the quarterback position.

The Tampa Bay front office should be looking to add a more dynamic signal caller before training camp begins.

Teddy Bridgewater could be the perfect solution. He’s really impressed New York Jets officials with how well he’s recovered from a catastrophic leg injury last season. Unfortunately for Bridgewater, they spent a high draft pick on Sam Darnold to be their quarterback of the future.

Many observers around the New York franchise believe that future should start in Week 1. The Jets can deal Bridgewater and still feel comfortable with their quarterback duo of Darnold and veteran backup Josh McCown.

Remember, Bridgewater is only on a one-year contract with the Jets. The chances of him becoming a long-term part of their franchise are remote at best.

Even if he won the starting job out of camp, New York isn’t going to pay him starting money to keep Darnold on the bench in 2019.

The Buccaneers are committed to paying Winston big money in 2019, but he could become a free agent after that season. If the Tampa Bay coaching staff isn’t completely sold on him as their long-term starter, bringing in real competition like Bridgewater would make a lot of sense.

Nothing about Winston’s play or his decision making off the field should inspire the Tampa Bay braintrust to hand him the keys to their offense for years to come. Even ignoring his off-the-field issues, Winston’s play on the field in 2017 was questionable at best.

His penchant for throwing maddening interceptions helped contribute to his ugly QBR of 50.3. That was the worst mark of his career and was well below the mark of average NFL starters.

Fortunately for the Buccaneers, they have almost enough cap space to acquire Bridgewater without having to make any other roster moves. They’d only need to clear about $1 million to add him to their quarterback room. Tampa Bay’s front office could clear that space in a variety of ways.

It’s possible they could make the math work by trading a player on their current roster for Bridgewater. Admittedly, the Jets would likely prefer to add draft compensation next season.

A fourth-round pick with the ability to elevate to a third-round selection if Bridgewater wins the starting job sounds like a fair price.

At the very least, Tampa Bay needs to bring in another quarterback who can get Winston’s attention. He needs to understand his place at the helm of the Buccaneers is a privilege, not a right.

Bringing in a quarterback with enough talent to threaten him or with the job outright would be perfect for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A move for Teddy Bridgewater just makes too much sense.

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