Teddy Bridgewater already becoming trade bait?

Whether to acquire Teddy Bridgewater or not was an easy decision for the New York Jets to make. Even if Josh McCown could be counted on for another good season, he’s 38-years old. He’s a band-aid at best for a team that needs a quarterback of the future— which they drafted with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 Draft, Sam Darnold.

Teams are always hesitant about starting rookie quarterbacks (and then do so anyway). But if Bridgewater can find his game again, maybe he can be the bridge instead of Josh McCown while Darnold sits and learns.

However, it is beginning to sound like the Jets may have another plan in mind.

Heading into training camp, McCown will be the No. 1 QB, Bridgewater the No. 2, and Darnold the No. 3. But the Jets have liked what they’ve seen from Darnold so far. If he can continue to progress throughout training camp, there is a chance he could be the starter or Week One.

Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said already said they are “throwing everything at him.” If Darnold shows that he is able to handle it and he can be the Jets starter, then they’ll make that move when the timing is right.

If that’s the case, they will not need the services of either McCown or Bridgewater. Since McCown is more familiar with the offense and guaranteed $10 million this season (next to $1 million for Bridgewater), the Jets will be keeping McCown.

But what does that mean for Teddy? Will they just let him go or try to trade the former first-round pick?

There have been rumors since the Jets acquired him that he could be future trade bait. There has been speculation that the Jets could try to move him in the preseason if he remains healthy and plays well. It’s probably safe to assume that the team will also have to like what they see out of Darnold and McCown. If they do, expect the Jets to make a serious push to trade Bridgewater.

But to who?

There will likely be a couple of teams that do not have a decent starting quarterback on their roster. As the preseason rolls on and their QBs continue to play poorly, they may feel the need to bring in someone else. They could pick up whoever happens to be on the street. But they could also give up a mid-round draft pick for a former first-round draft pick—Bridgewater.

But those teams will not want to give up as much since they have a quarterback. The Jets will get the most by trading him to a team whose QB goes down with a season-ending injury.

They will still be interested in attempting to put their best foot forward. They’ll be more likely to give up a better pick(s). It will not matter to them if Bridgewater appears a little rusty in preseason play. He’ll be better than what they have (nothing). If they’re lucky, he’ll knock the rust off after a couple of games.

Then whatever pick they gave up to get him will be well worth it.