Should the New Orleans Saints franchise tag Teddy Bridgewater in order to keep him away from free agency for one more season?
The New Orleans Saints are in an interesting predicament when it comes to the team’s quarterbacks this free agency. Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater are both unrestricted free agents and Tayom Hill is a restricted free agent.
The 40-year old Saints starting quarterback is most likely to re-sign with the team at a lower salary than his last contract, but he is expected to sign back. The Saints can match any offer for Hill.
The most volatile situation right now is Teddy Bridgewater.
When Drew Brees went down with his thumb injury this year, he paved the way for Teddy Bridgewater to start five games for the Saints. He took every opportunity he could to prove that he is a starter capable quarterback.
That has grasped the interest of several teams out there looking for replacement quarterbacks this season. Chargers’ Philip Rivers and Patriots’ Tom Brady are both free agents this year with doubt in mind of if they will sign back or not.
The Chargers and Patriots, along with the Dolphins, Buccaneers, and Titans, are front runners for the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes. All those teams and more have a need and a will to want to sign Bridgewater to a huge contract.
Because Drew Brees is likely to remain the starter for the New Orleans Saints, they would have to try and convince Bridgewater to sign back as a backup quarterback with backup quarterback money. That seems like an extremely unlikely scenario.
However, the Saints could franchise tag Bridgewater, forcing him to stay another year with the New Orleans Saints. But, it would also guarantee Bridgewater most likely more than $24 million a year which is more than they are planning on paying Brees.
The money they would have to pay a franchise tag is not worth it for a player you are planning on benching the entire year. It would also most likely cause a strain on the relationship that the Saints have built with Bridgewater over the years.
A franchise tag seems more unlikely given the salary height. The Saints’ only other option besides a transition tag (which is a horrible idea) is to convince Bridgewater to stay behind Brees for another year at a salary of around $8-10 million next year.