Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where once you’re one of us you’re always one of us. Let’s get to it:
*It’s been about 2.5 years since Teddy Bridgewater’s knee blew up on the Vikings’ practice field. Whatever you think of Bridgewater and those who have replaced him since then, you probably agree that the moment in time in the preseason 2016 when that happened dramatically altered the course of history for both the Vikings an Bridgewater.
But it’s also probably true that the parts of the re-written history most notable for Vikings fans are the ones pertaining to the team, not Teddy.
Kirk Cousins probably isn’t here now. The Minneapolis Miracle never happens — at least not as we remember it. And so on.
What it has meant for Bridgewater is that in three seasons that would normally be prime years — Nos. 3-5 in his career — for a first-round NFL pick, he has thrown just a total of 25 passes. And that was after throwing 849 passes in his first two seasons.
That and other factors combine to put Bridgewater in a very interesting and unclear position as he approaches unrestricted free agency in a few weeks.
By all accounts, he must be as healthy as he can be. What he needs now is a chance to show it. He looked like he might get a chance to compete for playing time last season with the Jets, but then they traded him to New Orleans — where Bridgewater fit in well with the Saints’ culture but mainly sat behind future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
The Saints might want Teddy to be their QB in waiting once Brees, who just turned 40, calls it quits. But Brees is the unquestioned starter for the 2019 season, and the Saints are in rough enough salary cap shape that keeping Bridgewater as an expensive backup might not be possible even if he wants to stay.
But are there any teams who would make a bid for Bridgewater as a starter given how much time he missed and the severity of his initial injury?
Bottom line is I’ll be very interested to see what the market is for Teddy and what he ultimately wants.
*In case you somehow missed it, Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson had to leave Wednesday’s showdown against UNC with a knee sprain brought on when his Nike shoe disintegrated. I should point out now that I’ve had white Starbury high tops for more than a decade (purchased for $10), and that has never happened to me.
*The Wild traded Charlie Coyle on Wednesday. On Thursday, we learned that the move either did or did not put the team on notice, according to GM Paul Fenton. Take your pick.