The Panthers gave Teddy Bridgewater permission to seek a trade after sending three draft picks to the Jets for Sam Darnold on Tuesday, and according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport there are several teams interested in acquiring Bridgewater from Carolina.
Bridgewater has already found multiple teams interested in trading for him, Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network. ~Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Panthers have said they’re willing to keep Bridgewater on the roster for 2021, but after trading for Darnold it seems highly unlikely we see him in a Panthers uniform again. If the Panthers can trade Bridgewater before June 1, they will incur a $10 million dead cap hit (saving $12.9 million against the cap). If they trade him after June 1, they will incur a $5 million dead cap hit in 2021 (saving $17.9 million against the cap) and a $5 million cap hit in 2022.
If they can’t find a trade partner, they can just cut him and move on. If the Panthers cut him before June 1, they would incur a $20 million dead cap hit on Bridgewater for 2021 (saving $2.9 million against the cap). If they cut him after June 1, they will incur a $15 million dead cap hit for 2020 (saving $7.9 million against the cap) and a $5 million dead cap hit for 2021.
If the Panthers can get two of the three picks back from the Darnold trade they should consider themselves winners of any deal involving Bridgewater, especially when you consider the cap relief they would gain from no longer having him on the roster. They shouldn’t just give him away if there are teams willing to trade for him, but at least they do have a viable fallback option if no trade offers materialize.
As always, stay tuned for updates to this developing situation.