The Panthers finally part ways with Cam Newton since the one-time League MVP broke down for the last two seasons. He only managed two starts in 2019 and the Panthers relied on Kyle Allen to mostly check down to Christian McCaffrey and ended with a 5-11 record. Going into the offseason on the search for a new starter, they come away with Teddy Bridgewater who signed a 3-year, $63 million deal. That’s not franchise quarterback money, but it is definitely “starter” money.
It is a curious signing and is more likely a fill-in for a Panthers team that could also sign a rookie to groom. The Panthers switch to Matt Rhule as their new head coach and Joe Brady from LSU will run the offense. The Panthers coughed up enough money to show they expect more than a clipboard holder, but not so much that Ruhe is looking for Bridgewater to be the ongoing face of his new team.
Bridgewater played for the Vikings for his first two seasons but never passed for more than 3,231 yards or 16 touchdowns in a season. He offered two or three rushes per game as well. But he blew out his ACL and suffered significant structural damage in the summer of 2016 on a non-contact play.
His only play of any note was 2019 filling in for Drew Brees but he only managed one game with more than 300 passing yards. His nine starts totaled only nine touchdowns.
Bridgewater will offer a game manager role with short passing that should continue to favor Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore. But this is a rebuilding year and Bridgewater provides a veteran presence at quarterback that should pair with a younger protege’ that will become the future of the franchise under Rhule.