The Jets’ one-year deal for Teddy Bridgewater might not last the year.
When the former Vikings quarterback signed his contract, he received a $500,000 signing bonus and a $500,000 workout bonus. But his base salary for 2018 is $5 million and it’s not guaranteed. So the Jets can cut Bridgewater before Week 1, paying him $1 million for his time and effort as he tries to come back from a severe knee injury that cost him nearly two years of playing time.
Bridgewater is gambling he will remain with the Jets in 2018 as one of the top quarterbacks on the roster.
“I think I’m a very confident guy,” Bridgewater said in a conference call on Wednesday. “I believe in myself, I believe in the skill set I was blessed with and I just leave it at that. I’m very confident in myself but at the same time I want to do whatever I can to help this team win.”
Bridgewater, 25, must prove to the Jets he’s healthy after he tore his ACL and dislocated his left kneecap in a non-contact drill in August 2016. He didn’t return to the field until last December in a mop-up role for the Vikings.
Bridgewater wouldn’t say if he is ready to participate in next month’s OTA, but if the Vikings cleared him to play in an NFL game, the Jets’ medical staff likely would have him ready for at least offseason work.
When asked how healthy his knee is, Bridgewater said, “I’m not going to give a percentage or anything, but I do believe that I’m capable of performing at a high level.”
The Jets have told Josh McCown he’s the starter for the 2018 season, and they’ve invested in him with a $5-million signing bonus and a $5-million base salary.
McCown and Bridgewater are not the only two quarterbacks on the roster. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are waiting for their turns, but based on what the Jets have done in the offseason, it’s doubtful both will be around this season.
The Jets also have the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft and will most likely select a quarterback.