Panthers trade QB Bridgewater to Broncos for draft pick

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The Carolina Panthers have traded Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a sixth-round pick, No. 191 overall, in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Panthers have now acquired eight picks in the 2021 NFL Draft (eighth overall, 39th, 73rd, 113th, 151st, 191st, 193rd, 222nd).

Bridgewater, the Panthers starting quarterback in 2020, signed a three-year, $63 million contract with the Panthers last offseason but restructured his contract as part of the trade.

Denver will pay $3 million of Bridgewater’s guaranteed salary this season and Carolina will owe the remaining $7 million. He will become a free agent in 2022 due to the renegotiated final two years of the deal, and Carolina will save $6 million in 2021 and $26 million in 2022 as a result of the trade.

The 28-year-old quarterback was likely headed to his third team in three seasons after Carolina traded three draft picks to the New York Jets for Sam Darnold earlier this offseason. In his only season with the Panthers and under new head coach Matt Rhule, he completed 69.1% of his passes for 3,733 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Bridgewater will compete with 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock for the starting quarterback position in Denver. Lock struggled in his first full season as the Broncos starting quarterback, and Denver ended the 2020 season last in the AFC West with a 5-11 record. He completed just 57.3% of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a passing rating ranked 32nd.

"Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. "He's a talented player and leader who's had success in this league in a number of different situations. Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he's going to compete and do everything he can to help us win."