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Teddy Bridgewater gets only $500,000 guaranteed

Mike Florio

With five under contract and maybe one on the way via the third pick in the draft, one or more Jets quarterbacks will be an odd man out before Week One. And one of them could be Teddy Bridgewater.

Via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Bridgewater’s one-year deal includes only $500,000 guaranteed, via his signing bonus. Bridgewater’s $5 million base salary is non-guaranteed. The deal also includes $9 million in incentives.

So, basically, the Jets have paid $500,000 now in exchange for the ability to evaluate Bridgewater throughout the offseason program, training camp, and the preseason before deciding whether to keep him on the active roster when the regular season begins, and the $5 million becomes at that point as a practical matter fully guaranteed.

The chance that Bridgewater won’t see his $5 million base salary increases if the Jets pick a quarterback with the third overall choice in round one. If that’s what the Jets do, Bridgewater could take full advantage of his chance to show via the preseason that he can still play; if he gets cut after showing that he can still perform, someone else will surely be interested in giving him another chance.

Alternatively, Bridgewater could clamor to be cut or traded if/when the Jets pick a quarterback with pick No. 3. That would be a delicate P.R. strategy, but few would fault Bridgewater for wanting out in light of the arrival of a rookie arrival that could result in Bridgewater being dumped onto the market days before the regular season begins.