Teddy Bridgewater's Future Discussed by Panthers HC Matt Rhule amid Trade Rumors

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIApril 12, 2021

Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater warms up before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
AP Photo/Brian Blanco

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule shed light on his quarterback situation upon the arrival of Sam Darnold. 

Rhule told reporters that the team is allowing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to talk with other teams about a trade, but the organization isn't rushing to move him: 

"Teddy's still a member of this team. It's been documented that our organization gave his representation to talk with some other people. So I think we're just gonna have to let that play out and see where it stands. I think you guys all know how I feel about Teddy as a professional, as a person. I believe he can win as a quarterback in this league. I believe that he can move the ball and do good things. I believe that whatever situation he walks into, he's going to walk in with a great attitude. In terms of what will happen, I honestly would have to say we'll have to wait and see how things play out over the coming weeks for him and for us."

Rhule was non-committal regarding the team's starting quarterback in Week 1, and he did not rule out selecting a quarterback when the team picks at No. 8 in the first round of the NFL draft on April 29. 

While Rhule makes it seem as though Bridgewater is welcome to stick around, a report from Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated suggested that Bridgewater's relationship with the Panthers was "already strained" ahead of the trade for Darnold. 

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported in February that the team offered Bridgewater and the No. 8 pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford, but the Lions declined in favor of a deal with the Los Angeles Rams that brought Jared Goff to Michigan. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said multiple teams have shown interest in the 28-year-old.

Bridgewater made 15 starts with the 5-11 Panthers last season, finishing with 3,733 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in addition to 279 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. 

Darnold, who struggled through his first three years in the league, at least provides some opportunity for long-term growth. He appeared in a career-low 12 games in 2020, with 2,208 yards and nine touchdowns with 11 interceptions.