The Carolina Panthers traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a sixth-round pick in this weekend’s 2021 NFL draft, according to reports on Wednesday.
Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million deal with the Panthers before last season, but renegotiated the final two years of his deal prior to the trade. Carolina will save a total of $32 million in cap space over the next two years by shipping him off to Denver.
The Panthers will pay $7 million to Bridgewater and the Broncos will pick up $3 million of his salary, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“With the Broncos GM George Paton deciding to bring in Teddy Bridgewater, it’s a sign that the Broncos organization is headed in the right direction under Paton’s leadership,” former NFL player Nick Ferguson told WFNZ.
“It’s been well documented by the move for veteran QB Matthew Stafford that Paton wasn’t sold on John Elway’s second round draft choice, Drew Lock. The trade for Bridgewater shows that Paton isn’t afraid to make choices that his predecessor would never attempt.
“This also proves that Paton’s his own man, and he’s willing to go against the grain in a move to restore this once respected franchise back to glory,” Ferguson added.
Bridgewater is reunited with Paton, who drafted the dual-threat QB as a member of the Minnesota Vikings front office in 2014. He also joins his former offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for a second run as well.
The Panthers hold the eighth overall pick in Thursday’s opening round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Many analysts believe the team could bolster their offensive line by selecting either Oregon’s Penei Sewell or Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater.
Although, they could call an audible and take a quarterback off-the-board to compete with newly-acquired Sam Darnold. Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said last week the team would wait to make a decision on the former NY Jets’ fifth-year option for the 2022 season. The move leaves all options on the table for Carolina prior to the Draft.