ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have acquired a proven veteran to add competition to their quarterback room.
Denver has agreed to trade for Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the team announced on Wednesday. The Broncos will send their 2021 sixth-round pick to Panthers in return for Bridgewater.
"Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room," General Manager George Paton said in a statement. "He's a talented player and leader who's had success in this league in a number of different situations. Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he's going to compete and do everything he can to help us win."
Bridgewater, a seven-year veteran, started 15 games for Carolina in his lone season with the Panthers. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound player completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 279 yards and five touchdowns.
The Panthers traded for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold earlier in April, which led to the team's decision to trade Bridgewater to the Broncos.
Bridgewater will join a quarterback room in Denver that includes Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel. Lock started 13 games for the Broncos in 2020 and completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Bridgewater's best season came in 2015, when he made the Pro Bowl after leading the Vikings to an 11-5 record as a second-year player. He completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, nine interceptions and three rushing touchdowns.
He then suffered a serious knee injury ahead of the 2016 season that forced him to miss all of the 2016 campaign and nearly all of the 2017 season. After 2017, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, for whom he was a backup for two seasons. He was 5-0 as a starter for the Saints in 2019 in place of an injured Drew Brees.
In Denver, Bridgewater will provide competition at the position. Paton has said since the start of the offseason that the Broncos intended to add another player to the quarterback room.
"We've evaluated all the quarterbacks," Paton said after the first wave of free agency. "We like Drew Lock. We have a plan in place and there's free agency, there's the draft, there's trades, there's a lot of ways to acquire a quarterback. Fortunately, we have a quarterback here and we have a nice quarterback room. We do want to bring in competition. We are not going to force it. We are monitoring the market right now."
The Broncos hold the ninth-overall pick in Thursday's NFL Draft, and Paton previously said drafting a quarterback is "in play" with that selection.