Teddy Bridgewater happy as backup in New Orleans: 'This is the best opportunity for me to grow'

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/27560/" data-ylk="slk:Teddy Bridgewater">Teddy Bridgewater</a> could have competed for a starting job elsewhere in the league. Instead, he's happy playing the long game in New Orleans. (AP)
Teddy Bridgewater could have competed for a starting job elsewhere in the league. Instead, he's happy playing the long game in New Orleans. (AP)

Teddy Bridgewater had an opportunity this offseason to compete for a starting job with the Miami Dolphins, who made a big push to sign the quarterback.

While the starting position wasn’t guaranteed, Bridgewater would have at least had the opportunity to be on the field with the Dolphins — rather than in New Orleans, where he’s locked in as Drew Brees’ backup.

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At the last minute, though, Bridgewater agreed to return to New Orleans, signing a one-year, $7.25 million deal.

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“As a competitor you want to be out there starting and competing,” Bridgewater said Monday, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “But I just sat back and I weighed my options and thought about what would be best for me.

“This is an opportunity for me to grow, continue to learn and expand my mental capacity as a football player.”

Bridgewater completed just 14 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown last season with the Saints. He was never expected to do much last year, however it was still a welcome sight after the horrific leg injury he suffered in practice with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 — which many expected would end his career entirely.

The 26-year-old joined the Saints just before their final preseason game last fall, too, and had to jump right in to a new system. This offseason — his first true offseason with New Orleans — is something both he and the coaching staff have been excited about for quite some time.

“I think our coaches, him, they’ve all looked forward to this offseason where he could get a lot of reps, a lot of time under his belt,” Brees said, via the Times-Picayune. “There’s no doubt he’s an extremely talented guy, but he works at it, and I think this offense suits him very well in a lot of things we do, a lot of the capabilities that we have, the creativity we incorporate with everything we do.”

Brees is rapidly approaching the end of his playing career. The 40-year-old and former Walter Payton Man of the Year is entering his 19th season in the league, and his 14th with the Saints. While he’s still seemingly at the top of his game, that won’t last forever. New Orleans will need a succession plan at some point. Whether that’s Bridgewater or someone else remains to be seen.

Regardless, Bridgewater is playing the long game.

“This is the best opportunity for me to grow as a player,” Bridgewater said, via the Times-Picayune.

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