The Detroit Lions haven’t won the NFC North Division since 1993, the longest divisional drought in the NFL, but they are +160 favorites to win it this year with Green Bay expected to take a huge step back after trading Aaron Rodgers. The Lions do have one pretty big gaping hole on the roster, however: Backup QB to Jared Goff. That job may soon be filled amid reports the team has made an offer to sign Teddy Bridgewater.
NFL Betting News: QB Teddy Bridgewater Targeted By Lions To Back Up Jared Goff
One of Bridgewater’s previous NFL stops was in New Orleans so he has familiarity with Lions head coach Dan Campbell as Campbell served as the Saints’ assistant head coach and tight ends coach from 2016 to 2020. Last season with the Miami Dolphins, Bridgewater lost both of his starts and completed 49 of 79 passes for 683 yards and four touchdowns and four interceptions. Bridgewater would exit in a Week 17 game due to a broken finger and wouldn’t return again. While he was solid filling in for Tua Tagovailoa, Miami replaced Bridgewater with Mike White this offseason.
The Lions believe they have a playoff-caliber roster after just missing in 2022 but the backup to Goff right now is journeyman Nate Sudfeld. The Lions took Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker in the third round this year but he will not take the field as he recovers from a torn ACL and learns.
He took home SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors last year for the Vols after throwing for 3,135 yards and 27 touchdowns with only two interceptions while rushing for 430 yards and five more touchdowns in 11 starts before a torn ACL suffered late in the regular season.
“We still have Nate Sudfeld behind Jared. We like what Nate did last year. Obviously, he didn’t get any meaningful game snaps, but we’ve seen enough of him throughout the regular season in practice, in the meeting room, that we felt comfortable bringing him back. I’ve always said from Day 1 that I wanted to add a lot more competition and a lot more resources in that room,” Lions GM Brad Holmes said in a recent interview. “I felt like we were able to do that, not only bringing back Nate, but getting Hendon. We’ll also have another quarterback in, because you still (have) two healthy quarterbacks. So, you still need a third healthy quarterback.”
The team passed on taking a quarterback with a Top-10 pick for the fifth straight year — the Lions traded down from No. 6 and took Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick of the first round — but grabbed Hooker near the top of Round 3, No. 68 overall.
Outside of Goff, punter Jack Fox was the only other player on the roster to complete a pass last season. Sudfeld did appear in two games but didn’t register any stats. Bridgewater has started 65 games in his NFL career and is an excellent locker room presence. Another big-name backup out there is Carson Wentz. He and Bridgewater may prefer to wait to see if a starter gets injured before signing.
Goff, who turns 29 in October, helped the Lions vault into playoff contention last season with one of the best years of his career. He threw for 4,438 yards and 29 touchdowns while completing 65% of his passes, and did not throw an interception in the Lions’ final nine games.
The former No. 1 overall pick has manageable cap hits of $30 million and $32 million over the next two years. But the Lions could lock him up for a shorter deal that would give the veteran quarterback some guaranteed cash. A two-year, $82 million pact would place Goff just above Daniel Jones, Dak Prescott, and Matthew Stafford in average annual value and put him on schedule to reach free agency in advance of his age-33 season.
Detroit opens the season on Sept. 7 as a 7-point underdog at defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City. It’s the Lions’ first-ever time playing in the Kickoff Game. It marks the second time the Lions have opened their season against the defending Super Bowl champions, with their only other occurrence coming in 1967 against the Green Bay Packers, who were coming off a victory in Super Bowl I.
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