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Bengals could be an under-the-radar trade option for the Jets and Teddy Bridgewater

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The Jets now have two young quarterbacks and a veteran, too. Could the Bengals go after one in a trade?

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Jets quickly addressed their quarterback position in free agency re-signing Josh McCown and signing former Vikings signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater, too. The team then traded up in the first round of the draft and selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick. Darnold, the former USC star quarterback, may not be ready to start this year. But if he’s not, the Jets could opt to rely on McCown once again.

McCown started 13 games for the Jets in 2017 and went 5-8 in those contests. He had a 67.3% completion percentage, threw for 2,926 yards, 18 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and a passer rating of 94.5. That’s not too bad, especially considering how bad the Jets were expected to be heading into last season. Darnold is the Jets’ quarterback of the future, especially considering how much the Jets gave up to trade up to the No. 3 pick.

The Jets gave up the No. 6 overall pick this year, in addition to the 37th and 49th overall picks and their second-round pick in 2019 for the rights to pick No. 3.

Is there room on the Jets’ roster for all three of these quarterbacks in 2018? Or could the Jets look to trade away the free agent quarterback they just signed in March?

Rumors are circulating that the Jets could trade Bridgewater before the season as he’s doing well in OTAs and there may be more value in trading him than keeping him on the roster. Bridgewater is signed to a modest one-year, $6,000,000 contract, which included a $500,000 signing bonus and just $1,000,000 guaranteed.

Teams like the Bills, Dolphins and Titans may make sense as trade partners for the Jets, but could the Bengals be another team to watch for should New York trade Bridgewater?

SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea speculated as much. And at first I waived it off as something that couldn’t possibly happen. But then I started thinking more about it.

Dalton’s backup of the past four seasons is gone now that the aforementioned McCarron is a Bill. The depth chart behind him isn’t especially inspiring — and for that matter, neither was Dalton’s play in 2017. The longtime starter struggled with a depleted supporting cast, recording a career-low 207 passing yards per game in a 7-9 season.

Landing Bridgewater gives the Bengals a viable No. 2 option and someone with playoff experience who could avoid the kind of letdown that marred the team’s last postseason appearance. A back-to-form Dalton is good enough to fend off the former Viking for the team’s top spot, but he could certainly benefit from having a capable backup to push him.

Matt Barkley isn’t a quarterback who inspires hope in anybody. Maybe his family; that’s about it. You wouldn’t want him filling in if Andy Dalton were injured. Additionally, the Bengals reportedly haven’t let Logan Woodside throw a pass in the OTA sessions that are open to the media.

If Dalton were to go down in 2018, would either of these quarterbacks be serviceable solutions for the team? How about Jeff Driskel who has been developing on the roster for a few years now? Would Bridgewater be a better option?

What if the Bengals kept three quarterbacks on the roster this season and they were Dalton, Woodside (as a long-term developmental project) and Bridgewater? Bridgewater likely would be the best option to be the No. 2 quarterback for this season if choosing between Driskel, Barkley and Woodside. Driskel has no regular-season experience, which will be the case with Woodside as a rookie, too. And Barkley has just proven he’s not starting material.

Bridgwater suffered a major knee injury in August 2016 that sidelined him for the full 2016 season and basically all of the 2017 season. He was cleared from his dislocated knee and torn ACL during the 2017 season and ended up playing in one game last year... a Vikings blowout win over the Bengals. He threw two passes in the outing, one of which was an interception. It was mostly just a feel-good moment for the Vikings and their quarterback and an opportunity to get Bridgewater on the field when the Vikings had all but won the game.

Prior to the devastating injury, Bridgewater completed 551/849 passes for 6,150 yards, 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in two seasons. He was a young quarterback on the rise and big things were expected of him and his Vikings in 2016 prior to getting injured in training camp.

The hope is that he can return to being the quarterback analysts and NFL fans thought he could become prior to the injury.

Will that be in Cincinnati? There are certainly teams that could use him more. And there are likely better fits. But Marvin Lewis could get all the details he needs on Bridgewater from his good friend and Bridgewater’s former head coach, Mike Zimmer. And if the Bengals want to ensure they have a solid No. 2 quarterback, much like the Eagles did last year, Bridgewater could be the man for the job. His contract isn’t too big and it could be a one-year plan while Woodside develops. There’s also the potential for Bridgewater to actually push Dalton as a starter, given the expectations set for Bridgewater prior to his 2016 injury.

What do you think? Should the Bengals at least consider trading for Bridgewater this summer?

Poll

Should the Bengals consider trading for Teddy Bridgewater?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Yes!
    (967 votes)
  • 18%
    No.
    (271 votes)
  • 17%
    Need to wait to learn more later in the summer.
    (260 votes)
1498 votes total Vote Now