Mehta wrote Bridgewater's trade value is likely to be minimal until he shows what kind of passer he is after a knee injury kept him out for all of 2016 and nearly the entirety of the 2017 campaign.
Sam Darnold's performance both in training camp and the preseason will help determine whether the Jets keep Bridgewater, according to Mehta. The team may want to have Bridgewater as the starter for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions rather than throwing Darnold into the role before he appears to be ready or rolling with 16-year veteran Josh McCown.
Ultimately, it's hard to see how Bridgewater will do enough between now and the Oct. 30 trade deadline to entice a suitor to make a sizable offer to New York.
Mehta cited Sam Bradford's trade in September 2016 from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings as an example while acknowledging the Eagles' return—a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-rounder—is well above what the Jets could hope to get.
Although Bradford missed all of 2014 with a torn ACL, he stayed healthy for the most part in 2015 while throwing for 3,725 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
In short, the Vikings got to see Bradford start 14 games the previous year before feeling comfortable about making the deal.
At most, a team would have four preseason games and the first half of the regular season on which to judge Bridgewater.
The Jets are smart to keep their options open because it only takes one general manager to go above and beyond to land Bridgewater. But the 25-year-old is likely to have more value for New York as a starting option or insurance for Darnold if the rookie emerges as the first choice.