4. QB Teddy Bridgewater (Miami Dolphins–one year, $6.5 million)
Rather than make a real effort to upgrade the depth chart behind Jared Goff, the Lions have brought back Tim Boyle and David Blough instead. While re-signing Blough is pretty inconsequential, it’s safe to say upgrading over Boyle with a legit veteran backup would not have been all that hard if it was wanted to be done.
Bridgewater deserves a ton of credit for getting back on the field and starting games after a career-altering knee injury in the 2016 preseason. But even his defenders, who like to lean into his intangibles and ignore his lack of physical talent, have to acknowledge he’s 11-18 as a starter over the last two seasons with the Panthers and Broncos. He’s becoming a journeyman/fringe starter/high-end backup type. The Dolphins will be his third team in as many seasons, as he steps in as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup.
In some light, Bridgewater could’ve been seen as legit competition for Goff and maybe Detroit wanted to avoid that. And if he didn’t win the starting job, he’s an easy upgrade over Boyle, who was 0-3 as the Lions’ starter with some rough numbers in Goff’s place last season.
The Lions likely never made an offer to Bridgewater, and if they did it certainly wasn’t for $6.5 million. A return home to Miami looks like a good fit for him, and any idea the Lions may have ever had to sign him was easily set aside and not circled back to.