New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater "generated a legitimate buzz" with his strong play during the first week of the team's organized team activities and could be a strong trade chip before the season, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com.
Per that report: "When they made a one-year, low-cost investment in Bridgewater, they did so with the belief that he could be flipped for a draft pick under the right circumstances. That's still on the table; his trade value is trending upward."
Bridgewater, 25, was signed by the Jets this offseason after missing all of the 2016 season and serving as Case Keenum's backup in Minnesota upon his return in the 2017 campaign. In New York, he was added to a crowded quarterback room that at the time included veteran Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg.
So that has left McCown, Bridgewater and Darnold to battle for the starting gig. Keeping Bridgewater would indicate that the Jets consider him an upgrade over McCown and that Darnold isn't ready to take over the starting gig this season.
Trading him, however, would likely either mean that Darnold was ready to start immediately or that the team felt comfortable with McCown as a temporary bridge starter and wanted to capitalize on Bridgewater's value on the market.
Bridgewater's new teammates certainly respect his battle back from a knee injury that threatened to end his career in 2016.
"For him to keep his optimism and continue to battle, I respect the s--t out of that," wideout Jermaine Kearse told Cimini. "Can't have nothing but respect for that."
"He's a cool cat," McCown told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "Having a guy who's played as many games as Teddy has and had the success, it's fun to have him in the room listening to his ideas... His ability to talk ball has been awesome. I'm really excited about Teddy.
He continued: "More importantly, what Teddy brings to our locker room as a leader is great because he's been the guy before. So, he understands what it takes. Any time you can add another leader like that to your team that adds value to your group. We certainly got that from Teddy."
In his last full season before the injury, Bridgewater threw for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions, completing 65.3 percent of his passes. He led Minnesota to the 2015 postseason, though they were one-and-done in the Wild Card Round, losing to the Seattle Seahawks.