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Report: Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater Available in a Deal if the Price is Right

Teddy Bridgewater’s audition for prospective employers will begin in earnest in the Jets preseason opener Friday night, prompting inquiring minds to wonder whether it’s only a matter of time before the former first-round pick is traded, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

The Jets don’t quite have an embarrassment of riches at the game’s most pivotal position, but they do have flexibility thanks to Bridgewater, who has designs on being an NFL starter after a grievous knee injury two summers ago nearly derailed his promising career.

The team will weigh the benefits of keeping a one-year rental versus acquiring an asset that could help them in the future (draft pick) or right now (player).

The Jets agreed to terms one one-year deals with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, but the 25-year-old Bridgewater potentially holds real trade value over the 17-year-old veteran.

“I know that’s a question that comes up,” general manager Mike Maccagnan recently said about whether he’d be willing to trade one of his three signal-callers. “Any time you have a number of players that you like at a position, it’s a natural thing (to think), ‘Hey, they may have a — I’m not saying we have a surplus… but some teams carry two quarterbacks. (So) you have the ability to potentially (think), ‘Oh, hypothetically we could do that.’

“But our big thing, quite frankly, is to see how all these players develop,” Maccagnan continued. “We like a lot of things that Teddy’s done this offseason. We obviously know Josh from having him last year and what he brings to the table. But I would say from that standpoint, it’s very early. We kind of want to see how these guys still grow and develop.”

Truth be told, the Jets want to fully evaluate Sam Darnold in the preseason before pulling the trigger on any potential trade involving Bridgewater. If Darnold impresses this month, the Jets would absolutely be open to trading Bridgewater, who’s scheduled to count $6 million against the cap. My understanding is that if Darnold needs more seasoning, then the Jets would hesitate to keep and start Bridgewater in the Monday night season opener against the Lions next month.

The best-case scenario for Gang Green, of course, is for Darnold and Bridgewater, who each will get a heavy workload against the Falcons on Friday, to impress in the preseason. That scenario would make it much more likely that Bridgewater is moved if a team comes calling for his services with an offer than makes sense.

“I live in the moment,” Bridgewater said about the possibility of being traded. “You control what you can control. For me, it is coming to work every day and putting forth my best effort, leading my group up and down the field, throwing completions and getting us in and out of the right plays. That is what I look forward to right now. Everything else will take care of itself. Right now, I have to live in the moment and trust the process.”

The league landscape will also play a role in whether the Jets ultimately keep or deal Bridgewater, who is 17-12 as a starter with playoff experience. The Jets would seemingly be the first call that any playoff-caliber team makes if it suffers an unforeseen injury to its starter this month. Remember, the Vikings ponied up a first- and conditional-fourth round pick two years ago for then-Eagles starter Sam Bradford after Bridgewater went down in practice in late August.

A team looking for a backup quarterback upgrade might also come calling. Could the Jets flip Bridgewater, who is scheduled to earn a $5 million base salary after only collecting $1 million this summer, for some draft capital?

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