The Carolina Panthers ended the Teddy Bridgewater experience after just one season following the acquisition of Sam Darnold. Bridgewater now holds a fresh opportunity with the Denver Broncos. Before that journey truly begins, he sent off a surprisingly harsh verbal shot directed at his former team.
Panthers trade Teddy Bridgewater after one season
Carolina underwent a colossal change last offseason by effectively moving off former league MVP Cam Newton.
It opened the door for Bridgewater to step in as the starter after inking a three-year, $63 million deal. However, his first campaign didn’t turn out as expected as the Panthers struggled.
Granted, the team battled through injuries, specifically Christian McCaffrey missing most of the season. Carolina never found its footing, falling well short of the playoff picture.
After one season, the front office elected to take the dramatic shift by trading for Sam Darnold. Shortly after that, Bridgewater saw himself shipped off to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.
The 28-year-old also restructured his contract, putting him on track to become a free agent in 2022. With that entire situation behind him, Bridgewater made some surprising remarks about his former team.
Teddy Bridgewater sends shockingly harsh parting shot toward the Carolina Panthers
Bridgewater’s tenure in Carolina may have ended abruptly, but it left an unmistakable impression on him.
The 28-year-old initially remained hush on his brief stint, with his focus on the new opportunity. However, Bridgewater recently appeared on the “All Things Covered” podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, where he openly discussed the Panthers’ internal shortcomings regarding offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
“I’ll just say this — for (offensive coordinator) Joe Brady’s growth, that organization will have to practice different things in different ways,” Bridgewater said. “One of the things we didn’t do much much of when I was there — we didn’t practice two-minute (drills), really, we didn’t practice red zone (situations).”
Brady only went through his first season as an NFL coach, which likely included many eye-opening moments. His offensive approach should see changes, but the lack of attention to two-minute drills and red zone situations certainly draws red flags.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Bridgewater ranked in the bottom half of the league, throwing nine touchdown passes to three interceptions in the red zone last season. He also finished in similar footing in goal-line situations with six touchdown passes to zero interceptions.
Nonetheless, it speaks to the Panthers still needing plenty of necessary adjustments to take that next step forward.
Sam Darnold could be the answer in Carolina
The Panthers quickly moved off Bridgewater, but the franchise went that route with complete confidence in their new quarterback.
Darnold stumbled through his first three seasons due to injuries, illness, and inconsistency. However, the Panthers provide him an entirely new environment to thrive and find success.
The former USC product will have the immediate benefit of playing alongside Christian McCaffrey, arguably the best running back in the league. McCaffrey will take off a tremendous amount of pressure on him to carry the offense.
Darnold will also have the comfort of throwing to his former Jets teammate Robby Anderson along with another promising talent in D.J. Moore. He will go through an initial adjustment period, but the table is set for him to make Carolina his NFL home for the foreseeable future.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.