The Carolina Panthers have quite a few new faces entering the 2020 season with none bigger than quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater will be replacing Cam Newton as the team’s starter behind center and there are plenty of questions that we won’t have answered until the season begins.
Here are the three burning questions about Bridgewater:
1. Can he stay healthy?
This is the biggest question for most players but Bridgewater suffered a very gruesome injury back in 2016 when he tore his ACL and dislocated his knee during a practice when he was a Minnesota Viking.
It took a little under two years for Bridgewater to return and even though he hasn’t suffered any injuries since, he has yet to play in all 16 games since the injury or be a regular starter.
Bridgewater isn’t known for taking many deep shots nor running with the ball so he could avoid wear-and-tear just by the absence of those two aspects in his game but all it takes is one play for the unthinkable.
Bridgewater played five games last year and held up well so all eyes will be on him to see how he can manage a full season.
2. Is he able to take over a game?
Bridgewater went 5-0 as the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback in 2019 when Drew Brees was out with an injury, but he also had a really good team around him.
The Panthers won’t have nearly as much talent to surround Bridgewater with in 2020.
Bridgewater has been known to win. He was named a Pro Bowler in 2015 and has never completed lower than 60 percent of his passes.
However, Bridgewater’s stats aren’t mindblowing.
He’s proven to be a solid quarterback if surrounded by a solid offensive line and weapons but he has yet to show he can dominate a game since his injury.
In 2019, Bridgewater had two game-winning drives, with one being a fourth-quarter comeback.
The potential is there but the stats show he was more capable of taking over prior to his injury.
3. Is he just a bridge quarterback?
Carolina has to have some solid confidence in Bridgewater to give him a three-year, $63 million contract this offseason, but the question that remains is whether the Panthers will tank this season to try and draft a quarterback high in the draft in 2021?
Bridgewater is already 27-years old and will be 30 by the time his contract is over but could he lose his starting job before then?
If Carolina or Bridgewater struggles could they give either backup P.J. Walker or Will Grier a chance?
Bridgewater could also get beaten out next season by a draft pick.
He could also turn out to be a franchise quarterback all three years and maybe longer.