Teddy Bridgewater is the bridge the Denver Broncos need

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Teddy Bridgewater
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Teddy Bridgewater /

For the Denver Broncos, the top ‘bridge’ quarterback is none other than Minnesota Vikings free agent Teddy Bridgewater, a former first round pick…

If the Denver Broncos miss out on Kirk Cousins, they are going to need a quarterback. Many have speculated that the next top target for Denver would be Case Keenum, who was brought into the league by senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans.

Keenum would be a logical fit in the ‘who you know’ category, with his connection to Kubiak, but price-wise, I’ve written at length why signing Keenum might not make sense for the Broncos or for Keenum.

With that being said, the best ‘bridge’ for the Broncos in free agency this offseason is none other than Teddy Bridgewater, who is coming with the ideal circumstances the Broncos would want if they miss out on Kirk Cousins.

First and foremost, Bridgewater is seeking a short-term contract. The same is probably not true of Case Keenum. Bridgewater is trying to prove himself to a new team, while Keenum likely feels after this past season that he has more than proven his worth as a legit starter in the NFL.

On a one or two year contract, Bridgewater is also likely to cost a mere fraction of what Keenum will command.

The former first round pick would be due a fifth-year option had the Vikings opted to pick it up last offseason, and that would be worth under $10 million in guaranteed money. I think you could even get Bridgewater on a partially guaranteed contract for one or two years and possibly as low as $7-8 million per season.

Signing Bridgewater would be a high risk move, of course, but there’s also the potential for high reward. Prior to his knee injury, Bridgewater was expected to take a huge leap in his third NFL season, and despite not having the most stellar statistical production, he looked like a future franchise quarterback.

The Vikings were planning to build around him, and they were obviously devastated when he was hurt.

Bridgewater is also highly respected among other veteran players in the NFL. His poise as a young player really earned him a lot of respect around the league. You don’t need to look any further than Bridgewater’s performance against the Broncos in 2015 when he brought the Vikings into Denver against the eventual champs and nearly beat them.

There are no guarantees with Bridgewater, health-wise, but I think he’s willing to construct a contract with that in mind.

More from Predominantly Orange

This move would cost the Broncos almost nothing when you consider the current market for starting quarterbacks. If Bridgewater is seeking a one or two year deal to prove himself, why not in Denver?

The greatest advantage to signing Bridgewater is that it truly would not prevent you from drafting a quarterback with the fifth overall pick if that’s what you wanted. The financial investment in Bridgewater would not make that seem like a completely ridiculous thing to do.

You could allocate other financial assets to another starter or two or three if you pick Bridgewater over Keenum, and you could take a quarterback at no. five if you wanted.

Unlike Keenum, Bridgewater would expect to have to compete for his job. Keenum is going to be seeking a stable situation.

The Broncos can offer Bridgewater the terms he wants, and the competition he desires. I have a feeling the rest of the roster would respond incredibly well to the presence of Bridgewater, who is — like I mentioned — one of the most respected guys in the league.

This move seems like a no-brainer and almost a preferable option to anything else at this point in time. Will the Broncos be wise enough to consider it?