The Carolina Panthers traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos for a sixth-round pick, it was announced Wednesday.
The Panthers will pay Bridgewater $ 7 million, while the Broncos will pay him $ 3 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“The acquisition of Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room,” Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. “He is a talented player and leader who has been successful in this league in a number of different situations.”
Trade will not remove the Broncos, who have the No.9 pick, from the market for a quarterback in the NFL Draft on Thursday, a source told ESPN.
Paton has seen several of the top prospects in person on each of their pro days in recent weeks and the Broncos had reps on the second pro days for Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Justin Fields of State of North Dakota. Ohio.
Broncos quarterback Drew Lock enjoyed his best game of the 2020 season in a 32-27 victory over the Panthers on December 13 at Bank of America Stadium, completing 21 of 27 passes for 280 yards and four hit without interception.
Paton, who was hired in January, has always said the team appreciates Lock’s potential and praised the quarterback’s work this offseason. Lock, who is 8-10 in two seasons as a starter, had 15 interceptions in 13 starts for the Broncos last season.
Since 2015, the Broncos have the worst overall QBR (45.2) in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Denver has not returned to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50.
Bridgewater, who signed a three-year, $ 63 million contract with the Panthers before last season, threw 3,733 yards in 2020, with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. By renegotiating the last two years of the Bridgewater deal, the Panthers will save $ 6 million in 2021 and $ 26 million in 2022, a source told ESPN’s David Newton.
The Panthers’ financial concessions for the 2021 season were key to the deal. The Broncos largely missed the quarterfinals derby during free agency, with Paton saying he didn’t want to “force and bring in a guy or pay too much for a guy to show up and he’s not as good as the guy we have and maybe he’s not. good enough to compete. ”
Paton, the former assistant general manager of Minnesota, knows Bridgewater a lot. The Vikings returned in the first round in 2014 to take Bridgewater with the 32nd pick overall. Bridgewater was 17-11 at Minnesota, including leading the Vikings to the division title in 2015 with an 11-5 record.
“Knowing Teddy from Minnesota, he’s going to compete and do whatever he can to help us win,” Paton said.
The sixth round pick for the Panthers in Trading is No. 191 overall.
Carolina had traded to former New York Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold earlier this month, making it the second time in his career that Bridgewater was traded after a team acquired Darnold – Bridgewater has signed with Jets in free agency, then was traded before the season after the Jets drafted Darnold.
Bridgewater had plenty of chances last season to establish himself as the Panthers starter, but instead he saw his numbers drop steadily at the end of the season, and neither coach Matt Rhule nor manager General Scott Fitterer would not commit to him as a starter for the 2021 season.
Bridgewater had just one touchdown assist in the fourth quarter of the season and was 0-8 in games where the Panthers had a chance to win or tie their last possession.
The Panthers had offered Bridgewater to the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason as part of a trade-in program for Matthew Stafford, which ultimately went to the Los Angeles Rams.
Carolina still has four quarterbacks – Darnold, Will Grier, PJ Walker and Tommy Stevens – on her roster.
ESPN’s David Newton and Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.