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Teddy Bridgewater
NFL

What Does Teddy Bridgewater Signing Mean For Tua Tagovailoa?

  • Justin Melo
  • March 14, 2022
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According to multiple reports, the Miami Dolphins have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater will seemingly back up Tua Tagovailoa in 2022 after failing to assert himself as a quality starter in Denver a year ago. Bridgewater’s presence provides the Dolphins with an intriguing fallback plan should Tagovailoa struggle throughout the early portion of the upcoming campaign, and a quarterback controversy could eventually be on the horizon.

All early indications point to Bridgewater being brought on board to support and back up Tagovailoa, but the former first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft was undeniably one of the most intriguing quarterbacks available on the open market. Bridgewater has started 28 of a possible 33 regular-season contests over the previous two campaigns as a member of the Broncos (2021) and Carolina Panthers (2020). He’s a veteran starter with a ton of experience under his belt, and could potentially replace Tagovailoa in the starting lineup should the former Alabama standout fail to secure the desired results in what’s largely viewed as a make-or-break year for him. The Dolphins’ brass will almost surely shoot down this line of thinking publicly, but actions speak louder than words.

In the interest of fairness, the Dolphins have done plenty on Monday to invest in Tagovailoa’s continued support and development. General manager Chris Grier quickly signed former Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds to a two-year contract that should immediately make him the starter in a new-look Dolphins backfield. Just hours later, Grier signed free agent wide receiver Cedrick Wilson to a lucrative three-year contract. These deals have undeniably been made with Tagovailoa’s best interests in mind, but the Bridgewater deal also allows the Dolphins to plan for the worst-case scenario at the quarterback position in 2022.

Outside of analyzing Tagovailoa’s performances, his unfortunate injury woes also could have led the Dolphins to formulate a notable backup plan, which Bridgewater qualifies as. Tagovailoa dealt with a serious rib injury in 2021 that limited him to just 12 regular-season starts. The ability to hold up physically has come into question throughout his young career. Tagovailoa’s injury issues were well documented coming out of Alabama as a concerning hip-related ailment led to divisive opinions regarding his pre-draft stock, and Joe Burrow eventually surpassed him as the consensus No. 1 quarterback available.

New head coach Mike McDaniel was brought on board as a potential last-ditch attempt to rescue Tagovailoa’s thus far uneven tenure as a Dolphin. McDaniel replaces the former defensive-minded head coach Brian Flores, who employed four offensive coordinators in three seasons and never successfully put an offensive identity in place. The Dolphins are attempting to improve offensively while positively altering the course of Tagovailoa’s career. If McDaniel and Co. fail to do that, Bridgewater will be waiting (im)patiently in the wings.

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Justin Melo