When it comes to the NFL, there really isn't an offseason. Even for a team like the Miami Dolphins, which has made an unfortunate habit of finishing its seasons roughly five weeks before the Super Bowl, there isn't much downtime. In the NFL, if you start thinking about next year after the current year ends, you're too late.
That's why the Dolphins need to learn from their past, consider their future, and sign Miami native, former Miami Northwestern High School and Louisville star, and soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He would make the team better. It's a no-brainer.
Bridgewater would not replace the incumbent starter, Ryan Tannehill, but would be a high-upside, low-risk, high-reward back-up plan. There are no guarantees when it comes to the most important position on the Dolphins roster, so why not improve the fallback options? This isn't a time for worrying about egos. This is a time to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
If Tannehill can't make it out of training camp again, what will the Dolphins do? Drag Jay Cutler out of retirement again? Trade a high draft pick for a placeholder veteran? The Fins need to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to the reality of the situation. Tannehill might never play for the Dolphins again, and even if he does, he's not guaranteed to make it out of the season. They'll need some insurance. Bridgewater would be just that.
The Minnesota Vikings seem pretty much done with Bridgewater. Last weekend, Sam Bradford served as the team's backup to Case Keenum, ahead of a healthy and available Bridgewater. After their amazing run this season under Keenum, the Vikings probably won't bring back Bridgewater, their ex-franchise quarterback. That's just drama waiting to happen.
However, Bridgewater is still recovering from a terrible knee injury he sustained in July 2016, so he's not exactly a surefire immediate replacement for Tannehill. But for a team that must get younger and more talented at the back-up spot, he's certainly worth a flier on. The Dolphins simply cannot enter another season with Matt Moore as the fallback plan to Tannehill. Doing so concedes that if Tannehill gets hurt, the rest of your season is just about saving face.
Bridgewater's knee injury is the only reason he's even available this offseason. That being said, he is still just a 25-year-old quarterback with a history of success as a starter in the NFL, something few teams have as their back-up quarterback. That's a commodity the Dolphins haven't had in a backup in some time. That's also much better than going into another season with a back-up plan that is more like a plan to pull the corpse of your team to six wins so nobody on the coaching staff gets fired.
It's not likely there's a huge market for Bridgewater if he's looking to walk into training camp as the starting quarterback. Few teams, if any, would hand over the reins to a QB who hasn't started a game in two years. A handful of teams will probably want exactly what the Dolphins should be looking for: a quarterback who is young, hungry, talented, and, most important, available at a bargain-basement price.
If Teddy Bridgewater hits the market this offseason, the Dolphins should pounce on the hometown guy.