Free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater meets with Dolphins


    Free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater meets with Dolphins

    Teddy Bridgewater and the Miami Dolphins returned to the negotiating table.

    Bridgewater met with the Dolphins at their training facility Wednesday night, one day after he rejected a two-year, $10 million offer from Miami to become the team’s starting quarterback.

    Bridgewater, a former 2014 first-round pick, could become Miami’s highest-profile signing this offseason after a number of low-risk, cost-effective moves geared toward helping the Dolphins in their rebuilding efforts.

    Miami intends to draft a future franchise quarterback in the 2019 or 2020 NFL drafts, and hopes Bridgewater could bridge the gap until the young QB is ready to take over.

    Miami is expected to release seven-year veteran Ryan Tannehill, who led the Dolphins to a 42-46 record as a starter since being drafted as their first-round pick in 2012.

    The Dolphins will likely release Tannehill with a June 1 designation in order to save $18.75 million in salary-cap space. If Miami releases him earlier, it would save $13.1 million.

    Bridgewater, who is an unrestricted free agent, was expected to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints after declining Miami’s offer on Tuesday.

    Yesterday it was thought the former Miami Northwestern standout believed he could continue to improve under Saints coach Sean Payton and eventually succeed quarterback Drew Brees as the future starter in New Orleans.

    The Dolphins will need to up their ante to get Bridgewater, whose visit comes on the same day free agent Tyrod Taylor rejected a similarly low offer from Miami.

    Taylor, the former Buffalo Bills standout who was Baker Mayfield’s backup with the Cleveland Browns last season, will sign with the Los Angeles Chargers and be Phillip Rivers’ backup, according to the NFL Network.

    The Dolphins gauged Taylor’s interest to become their starting quarterback during their rebuild, but Miami’s offer did not exceed what the Chargers offered, according to a league source.

    Bridgewater became the Saints’ backup last season after being traded to New Orleans during training camp last year by the New York Jets, who drafted quarterback Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

    Bridgewater started in 28 of 29 games compiling a 17-11 record as a starter during his first two seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings before suffering a gruesome knee injury that caused him to miss the entire 2016 season.

    Taylor and Bridgewater were among the few available veteran quarterbacks when free agency started along with after former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who agreed to a reported four-year, $88 million deal (with $50.125 million guaranteed) with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.

    Former Jaguars starter Blake Bortles could also be an option for Miami after getting released by the Jaguars following the signing of Foles.

    Other quarterbacks who are free agents this offseason include former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, former New York Jets backup Josh McCown, former Arizona Cardinals backup Mike Glennon and last season’s Dolphins backup Brock Osweiler.

    If the Dolphins do not add another quarterback through free agency, they will likely seek a quarterback during the 2019 NFL draft next month.

    Miami has the No. 13 overall pick in the first round, when the draft begins on April 25 in Nashville, Tenn., and one pick in each of the seven rounds of the draft.

    Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, considered the top quarterback in the draft, may be out of Miami’s range as he is widely considered the potential No. 1 overall pick.

    Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, also considered a top quarterback in the draft, could be available.

    Miami could also decide to draft Missouri’s Drew Lock or Duke’s Daniel Jones in the first round, while West Virginia’s Will Grier is a possible option on the second day of the draft.

    Miami could also plan its 2019 season around the loaded 2020 quarterback class, which could include Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.

    As the NFL’s free agency period began Wednesday, the Dolphins still have a number of avenues to consider for their quarterback position next season. But their options for a talented veteran in the free-agent market may be slimming.

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