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Bleacher Report – Vikings

How much will it cost to bring Teddy Bridgewater back?

By Matthew Coller

Last offseason, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said that he never wanted another starting quarterback other than Teddy Bridgewater.

Of course, circumstances forced Zimmer to play Sam Bradford and Case Keenum over the last two years, but there’s a chance that the Vikings’ head coach will want the team’s former first-round pick back under center in 2018.

Bridgewater’s situation is complicated though. In Zimmer’s end-of-year press conference, he lamented not getting more time to see Bridgewater play on his surgically-repaired knee and pointed out the rarity of his recovery.

So if the Vikings do plan to keep Bridgewater, who is a free agent, uncertainty surrounding his recovery will play a factor in contract negotiations. It’s hard to see the Vikings locking themselves into a long-term contract, but there will likely be other offers from quarterback-desperate teams.

Let’s have a look at some options for the Vikings…

The Mike Glennon model

The Chicago Bears became the butt of a lot of jokes for their deal with former Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon, but the deal is far less egregious as some made it seem. They can walk away from him this offseason for only $4.5 million and $1 million next year. If Glennon had turned out to be a solid starting quarterback, the Bears would have had him under contract for a very reasonable deal.

From Bridgewater’s perspective, a Glennon-style deal with offer him a good chunk of guaranteed money, a competitive average annual salary and an opportunity to score a mega deal at age 28.

From the Vikings’ side, it would allow for a reasonable cap hit, giving them the chance to sign other players like Anthony Barr and Stefon Diggs to contract extensions while also not being locked into Bridgewater for more than one year if things go wrong with his knee.

A Sam Bradford deal

When Bradford signed with the Eagles, there was serious concern about whether his knee would hold up. Philadelphia gave him a large percentage of his salary guaranteed ($22 million of $35 million), but could have walked away after one year of a $7 million cap hit.

For Bridgewater, $22 million would allow him set-for-life money if there were further complications with his knee and an opportunity to earn a $100 million-plus deal within two years.

The Vikings would have a low cap hit for next season and the flexibility to move on if needed.

The franchise tag

Considering the cost of around $25 million, it may not seem like a great option, but the Vikings could franchise Bridgewater to insure that he’s their 2018 quarterback and then try to work out a long-term contract with him if he performs at a high level. The Vikings have $57 million in cap space and do not have many glaring needs in free agency. So they could afford to tag him and sign another QB – maybe even Sam Bradford – without putting themselves in cap jail.

The franchise tag would give Bridgewater a completely guaranteed deal, but would only lock him in for one year.

Tolling

The Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a clause that would toll current Bridgewater’s contract to 2017, meaning he would make $2.1 million in 2018. He should qualify under the parameters because he was on the Physically Unable to Perform list. However, Bridgewater could file a grievance stating that the Vikings purposefully put him on the PUP list to toll his contract.

There have been a grand total of zero concrete answers on whether the Vikings would pursue this option. Zimmer said: “I don’t have any idea. I would be guessing if I said what I think it is.”

GM Rick Spielman has declined several times to say whether tolling is a possibility.

The post How much will it cost to bring Teddy Bridgewater back? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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