The average NFL career is short, so 10 seasons is an accomplishment. Add in a major knee injury that threw his career off course before his third season, and getting to 10 years is really an accomplishment for Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
But in a recent conversation with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required), Bridgewater said he will retire after this season.
Bridgewater told Birkett that he was thinking about retirement after the birth of his second son this offseason. But after several conversations with Lions head coach Dan Campbell, he decided to give it one more go. So that seems to explain the delay in the Lions' signing him.
"I was really like content with being done,” Bridgewater said. “And it wasn’t really like much that went into it, it was just I felt healthy, I could walk away on my own terms and that was that. But when Dan, like we talked, and we talked, and we talked, and we talked, and it was like, ‘Man, all right, Dan, I got you.’”
Campbell sold Bridgewater on being able to come to the Lions and make an impact on young players--rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker and second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams in particular.
Bridgewater said he plans to start a coaching career at the high school level back in his hometown outside of Miami.
A look at Teddy Bridgewater's NFL career
Bridgewater was a first-round pick (32nd overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 draft. He started 12 games as a rookie, and all 16 games in his second season before a devastating knee/leg injury late in the 2016 preseason.
After one game appearance for the Vikings in 2017, Bridgewater signed with the New York Jets in 2018. He was then traded to the New Orleans Saints late in that preseason, and that's where he crossed paths with Campbell over the next two seasons. He started 15 games for the Carolina Panthers in 2020 and 14 games for the Denver Broncos in 2021, before spending the 2022 campaign with the Miami Dolphins as Tua Tagovailoa's backup.
Bridgewater has of course barely played as Jared Goff's backup this season. But if the Lionsclinch a playoff spot, the NFC North and lock in their playoff seed before Week 18, against the Vikings, he could get the start in that game in what would be a real story book ending.