2. Teddy Bridgewater
It’s hard to believe that it really came down to a handshake determining that Teddy Bridgewater was not the franchise quarterback for the Browns. All signs pointed towards Bridgewater being the selection for Cleveland. But the stock on him soured to team owner Jimmy Haslam, who said something about his handshake rubbed him the wrong way.
Instead, the team went with the Heisman winner out of Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel. Haslam was willing to write off a guy for a handshake, but not for partying and a lack of overall football IQ.
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Out with the former regime that allowed this to happen, and in with John Dorsey. Dorsey looks at guys for their football talent and ability to help the team succeed. He has complete control of the team and appears to have the support of Haslam, who has been more hands-off with Dorsey at the helm. Bridgewater is appealing to Dorsey because of his on-field play. After the horrific knee injury in 2016, Bridgewater made his way back to the Jets healthy. When they drafted Darnold, however, Bridgewater was a long shot to start.
However, he played well enough in the preseason to warrant New Orleans trading for him to back up Drew Brees. New Orleans is certainly going to want to bring him back, but Cleveland has a fair shot to bring in Bridgewater.
Teddy is both a fan and a team favorite everywhere he has been. Many love him for his openness and great personality, but he is also a pretty good football player. The former pro bowler hasn’t had many chances since his injury, but he is still a good quarterback who can fill in at a moment’s notice.
He is a high IQ player who can help Baker Mayfield on the sideline when breaking down plays and why something did and didn’t work. Bridgewater has a chip on his shoulder, much like Baker, but isn’t as vocal about it. It’s the perfect match for Baker, someone who wants to compete to be the best, no matter what it takes. Freddie Kitchens could use another guy like that in his locker room, not only for Baker Mayfield but for unifying the team as a whole.