Top 5 options for Detroit Lions to replace Teddy Bridgewater next season

With Teddy Bridgewater set to retire officially very soon, here are five options for the Detroit Lions to replace him as their No. 2 quarterback next season

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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2. Jameis Winston

After an up-and-down run as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter, no more exemplified by his last season there in 2019 (5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, 30 interceptions), Winston has been in the next phase of his career as a backup with the New Orleans Saints over the last four years. The most games he has started over that stretch in New Orleans came in 2021, when he went 5-2 in seven starts with 14 touchdowns, just three interceptions and a 102.8 passer rating.

Winston's first season with the Saints, 2020, was of course the last season Dan Campbell was on Sean Payton's staff as the tight ends coach. So the Lions' head coach presumably got a close look at the former No. 1 overall pick as he humbled himself in a backup role, knowing he would get an education in offense from Payton and Drew Brees.

At this point, you know what you're going to get with Winston. He's not afraid to go "YOLO" once in awhile, thus he will be up-and-down. That won't be to every team's taste for a backup quarterback.

But his playing style can also unlock and spark some things for an offense (see the difference for Chris Olave with Winston vs. Derek Carr on a regular basis this past season). That is something a backup quarterback should be able to offer if he has to play, and Winston's overall increased maturity since early in his career suits him to the role.

There's a slim chance Winston finds an opportunity somewhere as a bridge starter next season. But it's way more likely he's a backup for the rest of his career, and perhaps Campbell would vouch for him as an option if the Lions enter the market for a veteran.