Back in April, before the draft, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Detroit Lions made free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a "strong" contract offer. It appeared then that Bridgewater valued himself more highly than the Lions were willing to pay him, and maybe he had eyes on a better opportunity to start.
The Lions have publicly backed Nate Sudfeld as the No. 2 quarterback behind Jared Goff at every turn, and by all accounts he had a strong run through offseason work. But on Monday, according to the league's transaction wire, the Lions had Bridgewater in for a workout.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added the Lions have had interest in Bridgewater for "some time". Rapoport also added that a signing is not imminent, but the two sides will stay in touch.
Brigewater is considered the top backup quarterback available, such as that's a label someone should want with training camps set to get going around the league. A former first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, he has 65 regular season starts on his resume with a 33-32 record. He went 0-2 starting for the Miami Dolphins last year, and he has also played for the New Orleans Saints,
Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers in his career.
Teddy Bridgewater looks like a nice potential fit for the Lions
It's that New Orleans tie that informs the Lions interest in Bridgewater. Over his two seasons with the Saints, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was the Saints' tight ends coach. Before the Lions played the Broncos in 2021, via MLive, Campbell had praise for Bridgewater.
"“I’ve got a lot of respect for Teddy Bridgewater because I think he’s a winner in this league,” Campbell said at the time. “Man, he’ll hurt you in play-action pass. He’s going to be smart with the football.”"
When offensive coordinator Ben Johnson laid out his ideal traits for a backup quarterback this offseason, he may as well have had a picture of Bridgewater in his pocket.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes' declaration about emphasizing the No. 2 quarterback spot this offseason did not mean much. It yielded re-signing Sudfeld, and the aforementioned contract offer to Bridgewater was the only other notable development. Drafting Hendon Hooker is in a separate category than having a more viable backup for Goff this year.
Failing all else for a backup to Goff, apparently and up to this point, Bridgewater is at least a more proven NFL quarterback than Sudfeld. If a signing is not imminent, and apparently it isn't, it's probably not the Lions holding it up. A deal not moving toward done seems to point to Bridgewater wanting more money than they're offering, with no real leverage to cling to. The Lions hold the cards, and they shouldn't feel compelled to surrender if Bridgewater is overvaluing himself.