The Saints made a good decision to acquire a qualified backup for Drew Brees. The only question is whether or not they overpaid for his services.
There wasn’t much doubt that Teddy Bridgewater was going to be moved before the start of the regular season, but not a lot of people saw the Saints as his landing spot. Sean Payton and company deserve credit for acquiring a valuable insurance policy behind their franchise quarterback.
The Jets will send Bridgewater and a sixth round pick in 2019 to New Orleans in exchange for a third round selection in the same draft. It’s important to note that the Saints already parted with their 2019 first round pick to select Marcus Davenport this year. This deal means the franchise will head into next year’s draft without much ammunition to add to their roster.
The good news for Saints fans is that their roster doesn’t have many holes. This is a team that’s built to contend for a Super Bowl immediately. Adding Bridgewater to their roster means they can withstand an injury to Drew Brees and still remain a competitive team.
It’s still a high price to pay for a player the Saints hope doesn’t take a single meaningful snap this season. Let’s spend some time evaluating who got the better end of this transaction.
Teddy Bridgewater, 2019 sixth round pick
2019 third round pick
New Orleans Saints
For the Saints this is all about maximizing their chances to win now. Bridgewater probably isn’t good enough to lead them to a Super Bowl if Brees suffers an injury, but he can keep them afloat if the franchise signal caller is forced to miss a couple of games.
Some teams don’t see much value in their backup quarterback, but that’s asking for disaster. Credit the Saints for making a bold move to make sure their season isn’t derailed by an injury to one player.
On the other hand, this is a pretty steep price to pay. This deal would look a lot cleaner if the Saints weren’t already short their first rounder in 2019. Punting a draft isn’t a good move for any franchise.
The real question for the Saints is whether or not they’ve acquired Bridgewater with an eye towards making him Brees’ successor. No one knows exactly how much longer Brees can continue to play at this level. It’s possible Payton wants Bridgewater to lead his offense in 2019.
Add it all up and it’s a good, but not a great deal for the Saints. They should have stood firm with offering a fourth round pick. Giving up a third was just a little too much.
New York Jets
The big winner here for the Jets is Sam Darnold. With Bridgewater out of the way, he’s clearly in line to start for New York on Week 1. Josh McCown also gets a slight bump since he now gets to be the team’s unquestioned backup.
It didn’t make any sense for the Jets to keep Bridgewater and install him as their starter this season. Even if he can outplay Darnold in 2018, the rookie is going to be the team’s future under center. It was going to be his job sooner rather than later even if Bridgewater stayed on the roster.
As such, for the Jets this was all about trying to get the maximum possible return. Ironically, their decision to offer Bridgewater a one-year contract this summer actually came back to haunt them. Given how good he’s looked in the preseason, teams would have offered more to New York if they could have been sure of retaining Bridgewater’s rights for multiple seasons.
Credit the Jets front office for getting a meaningful asset for a quarterback that wasn’t going to help them. They probably should have held on to their sixth round pick in the deal, but that’s not enough to really hurt their grade.