REPORT: Bears in contract negotiations with Teddy Bridgewater
March 16, 2020
The Chicago Bears are in negotiations with free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, according to Mike Florio of Pro Talk Weekly. Florio predicts Bridgewater would start over incumbant starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky based on money, which is reportedly in the range of $21 million
Bridgewater revitalized an injury-plagued career in New Orleans last season, leading the Saints to a 5-0 record in quarterback Drew Brees’ absence. Over five starts, the Louisville product threw for nine touchdowns and two interceptions, competing over 67% of his passes.
In his fourth year, Trubisky struggled mightily, serving as a focal point for a rapidly regressing offense. The former second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft was unable to build upon the momentum he accrued in 2018-19, throwing 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games.
Acquiring Bridgewater immediately injects adrenaline into a floundering offense. With Trubisky’s passer rating dropping over 12 points from 95.4 to 83.0, the vaunted Bears defense was overburdened, despite their effective play. In New Oreleans, Bridgewater played to an impressive 99.0 passer rating
More conspicuously, the Bears reported negotiations with Bridgewater coincide with Trubisky’s final year on his rookie contract, should the Bears opt against picking up his fifth-year option. If Florio is correct in his prediction that Bridgewater would assume a starting role, Trubisky’s rollercoaster Bears tenure is almost certainly over.
Bridgewater retains a strong market as he engages in contract negotiations with Chicago. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the possibility that Bridgewater returns to New Orleans, though both the Fowler and the Saints acknowledged a “strong market” for the seventh-year signal caller. Peter King of football morning in America speculates that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may also express interest in Bridgewater.
Despite a discouraging showing last season, Trubisky still benefits from an array of extenuating factors insulating him from full blame. The Bears’ tight ends were ineffective, with JP Holtz’ 91 receiving yards leading all Bears tight ends. Trubisky also labored through a dislocated shoulder and slightly torn labrum, negating his indispensable running abilities.
Nevertheless, if the reports are accurate, it appears the Bears are ready to move in the different direction.