One of the question marks heading into the 2022 offseason for the Miami Dolphins surrounded the quarterback position. While the team was adamant in their support for Tua Tagovailoa as the starter, it did not appear the team was looking to bring back Jacoby Brissett as the primary backup for Tagovailoa. Where would the Dolphins look for that veteran player who is ready to step up should Tagovailoa miss playing time?
Answering that question, the Dolphins turned to former Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million contract. There is ongoing speculation that the Dolphins are setting up an open quarterback competition between the two, speculation that increased this week when Bridgewater declined to discuss his role with the team. “Honestly man, that’s a conversation I’d rather keep in-house,” Bridgewater told the media during his introductory press conference. “It’s a unique opportunity for me, for this organization and I’m happy that I could be a part of it this season. I’m going to be the best version of Teddy that I can be, helping the way that I know how to help, being genuine and still giving my all to this game.”
A follow up asked him directly if he was coming to Miami as the backup, or if he feels he could be named the starter. Bridgewater replied, “That’s something that the coaches and I, we talked about. I’m confident in that conversation and it’s really something that I would rather not discuss (publicly).”
Miami has been very public in their support for Tagovailoa this offseason, including new head coach Mike McDaniel, so this feels like trying to create more of an issue than there really is. That all said, no matter what the role Bridgewater has, it is important to know what the Dolphins added to their roster in signing him. To get a closer look at Bridgewater, I turned to the editors of Mile High Report, SB Nation’s Broncos team site. Both Tim Lynch and Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann provided a look at Bridgewater.
“Teddy Bridgewater was the best starting quarterback the Broncos have had since Peyton Manning,” Lynch replied when asked about Bridgewater’s time with Denver. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t put him in any rarified air as starting quarterbacks go. Given how inexpensive the contract was, the Dolphins got a quality backup and a guy who could easily step in and win some games. Bridgewater was a respected presence in the locker room and a leader.”
He continued, turning to the strengths and weaknesses of Miami’s newest quarterback. “As far as strengths and weaknesses go, I would say his biggest strength is that he can stabilize an offense reeling from turnovers or injuries. He is efficient and will take care of the football - albeit in a bit of a boring manner,” Lynch explained. “That’s kind of Teddy’s weakness. He won’t wow you with any flashy plays. He can make those plays, but he tends to be the cautious type. In today’s NFL, that tends to not be enough to compete over the long haul. That’s why I think he’ll be great as a backup on a good roster. If you end up losing your starting quarterback for a number of games, Teddy can step in and keep the team afloat during that time. “
Lattimore-Volkmann agreed with Lynch, adding, “I would totally reiterate what Tim said and just add that one of Teddy’s greatest attributes for any team is his leadership ability. That seems so cliché - and it usually is - but I was so impressed with how he ingratiated himself to all of the players, but especially the other quarterbacks, even the guy who lost his starting job to him, Drew Lock. Teddy appreciates every day that he gets to play. After recovering from his harrowing injury, I think he’s one of the few pro football players who really gets how fortunate he is to do that for a living.”
She continued, explaining, “He isn’t going to wow anyone with his talent, but he will be a stabilizing force to an offense and more importantly to a locker room. I haven’t paid a ton of attention to the Dolphins or their struggles, but I know it’s been a tumultuous few seasons. And after the Brian Flores exit, grounding forces are a good thing for teams and players. Teddy will be that whether he’s a backup or a starter. And he’ll be a true mentor to any quarterback in the room. I honestly would have been cool with paying him to stay on as our backup because he’s a great guy to have on your team.”
Both Lynch and Lattimore-Volkmann seem to agree the Dolphins are getting exactly what they need - the veteran backup who can step in and win if needed, as well as being a solid locker room presence.