Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

What If Bridgewater Falls To The Chiefs?


The weeks leading up to the Draft is “what if?” season. There are thousands of hypothetical scenarios thrown around in this annual era of smoke and mirrors that will all be forgotten by opening day, or, at worst, this time next year.

Still, there is one hypothetical that does have me very jaded. What if Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater falls to the Chiefs at 23?

This question bothers me first and foremost because it’s believable. Unlike the “Should the Chiefs draft Clowney?” sort of worthless thought experiments, the possibility of Bridgewater falling into the bottom of the 1st round is quite possible. There were already concerns about his durability and body type, which, coupled with an awful pro day, could send him spiraling downward.

It also gets at lots of over questions of doctrine and strategy. Are the Chiefs in win-now mode? How committed is GM John Dorsey to “best player available” (BPA)?

If Bridgewater is suddenly available at 23, the Chiefs front office will also have to immediately confront the question of the team’s long-term commitment to QB Alex Smith.

On paper, the Chiefs have no business drafting a quarterback in the first round. The team has other holes, and its starting QB just came off of a 24-TD-7-INT 2013 season and a nearly flawless 4-TD effort in a playoff loss that the team’s (aforementioned holey) defensive backfield lost for him. Furthermore, the team is secure with a QB Chase Daniel as the backup, who performed well Week 17, and Chiefs also already have a high-end developmental prospect in QB Tyler Bray.

So why is it even a question that the team might pick Bridgewater? Well, potential trade value is one reason. Part of the thinking behind the BPA strategy is that if you pick a gem you don’t need, you can always trade it or the player you already had. But generally the idea of picking, developing and trading a quarterback concerns mid-round QB’s.

Very rarely does a team make a major profit in draft picks in the process. Philadelphia drafted Kevin Kolb in the 2nd round in 2007, and traded him to Arizona in 2011 for a 2nd-rounder and CB Dominique-Rogers Cromartie. San Diego drafted QB Charlie Whitehurst in the 3rd in 2006, then traded him to Seattle for a 3rd-rounded and bump in their draft order in the 2nd. Washington has been shopping its standout 4th-round QB Kirk Cousins, but reportedly hasn’t gotten any interest for the player, who has shown himself to have starting ability, for the price of a 2nd-round pick.

The Chiefs would probably get the best value for trading Bridgewater by not trading him directly, but rather the pick itself. If Dorsey and company could convince QB-hungry teams picking at the top of the 2nd that they will take Bridgewater if they don’t get a decent trade offer, they might be able to move down and reap some additional picks in 2014 and 2015.

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Still, none of this addresses why KC might take Bridgewater and keep him. That question comes mostly down to money. The Chiefs only have Smith’s services until the end of the 2014 season and extending him will be difficult. It’s not yet been announced what the cap will be for 2015, but the Chiefs already have over $125 million in salary obligations for the year, going towards just 39 players. Meaning, unless the cap soars another $10 million higher, it’s going to be hard to give Smith a contract commensurate with that of a top 10 QB (which I believe he is) and still hold together solid roster.

Smith is making $8 million even this year, and the team will probably have to re-sign him for somewhere around $12 million to $13 million a year. By drafting Bridgewater, the Chiefs would have him locked down for four years at about $4 million per year.

Furthermore, while I personally do not subscribe to this point of view, there are many that believe Smith is a good QB with a steel ceiling. He’ll get you to the playoffs, but he won’t win you a championship. If you believe that to be true, you have to think hard about the wisdom of giving him a hefty contract at the end of this year and essentially marrying the team to him for at least another 2-3 years.

It’s all well and good to stand behind him in public, but if Teddy Bridgewater, who was previously viewed as a possible 1st overall pick, is one phone call away, it’s gotta give you pause. Bridgewater would also be the first QB the franchise would have tried to build around from his rookie season up since taking Todd Blackledge 7th overall more than 30 years ago.

There’s also some history that points to Dorsey maybe considering such a move. He drafted QB Aaron Rodgers 24th overall in 2005, despite the fact that Green Bay had a 35-year-old Brett Favre still playing at the top of his game. The Packers weren’t planning on taking a QB that year, but when it came down to it, Rodgers was the top rated player on their board available, and they knew that the immortal Favre would retire eventually (and then come back and retire again a couple of times).

In the end, I say the Chiefs should pass on Bridgewater or use his drop to the bottom of the 1st as the leverage to get more out of a trade-down. But, if I were GM, no decision would be harder than if Teddy “Gump” Bridgewater fell into my hands on May 8.

What would you Addicts do?

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Tags: 2014 Draft Alex Smith Salary Cap Teddy Bridgewater

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I’d strongly consider taking and keeping Bridgewater. He’s a hell of a prospect who would only be making an average of about $2 million per year until 2018.

    • berttheclock

      So, who would be cut or traded, Daniels? He is tradeable as more than one team needs a backup with playing experience. His one game against the Bolts should draw interest. Remember when Flynn became a one game wonder and it vaulted him into making big bucks from both the Seahawks and Raiders and he never even played and may well end up back with the Packers.

    • e_racer

      Heck ya I’d take him. He is not small framed. He will bulk up over time. Part of his problem with weight this year was he was sick, and lost a ton of weight. I could see him playing at 220 – 225 lbs. That’s close to Brady and Rodger’s weight. He’s not light. He’s young, and will pack on a few lbs in the next year or two.

      The other thing is he is not a running QB like RG3. Bridgewater is a passing QB. He can pass that ball, and he does not make mistakes. His td to int ratio is unbelievable. If he played with a decent receiver last year it would have been even better. He had no one to throw to. That was why U of L couldn’t seal the deal on their games. It takes more than a very good QB.

  • Travis Forsyth

    If bridgewater falls to kc? And if we take him at 23? Would we take him at 23? If that happened, which I doubt, I would think kc is set at QB for the present and future but I personally think Tyler Bray is the future of the Kansas City Chiefs (but I’ve been wrong before, I thought the same thing about Ricky Stanzi and Alex Tanney) and besides, we have too many holes to fill to take a QB at 23 and the chiefs don’t need a QB because we already have three solid ones in Smith, Daniels and Bray.

    • Bigtexjayhawk

      How In the world is Bray the future?? Our 3rd string, undrafted, bad attitude QB project?? I would say Chase is our future if anything. I really like AS but if Bridgewater is there I think you give pause. I think if they draft a QB if may be Garaffalo in the 3rd if he is there. I only saw Teddy play one game vs Florida and I saw an amazing passer that got beaten to a pulp and got back up every time. I was definitely impressed then but he needs to find that mojo again!!

      • Travis Forsyth

        Did you not watch the packers preseason game last year??? Bray single handedly took out green bay’s 1s and 2s 30-8. Give Bray time to develop behind Smith and in Reid’s system and Bray has the potential to become the future of kc.

        • ThatsMrsholaja Toyou


        • Bigtexjayhawk

          Oh ok. He played good in one exhibition game. Lets trade AS then and hitch our wagon to Bray.

          • Travis Forsyth

            Now your just being stupid. Alex Smith is for the NOW but Tyler Bray showed some raw talent in the pre-season game against the packers and showed that he has the potential to be the future of KC as long as he stays in Reid’s system behind Alex Smith. And the fact that Dorsey and Reid both hand selected this kid as a UDFA while were already two young QBs on the roster at the time (Ricky Stanzi and Alex Tanney) also hints that they both see something special in Tyler Bray but only time will tell. I’m anxious to see Bray in training camp and expect him to really compete to be Smith’s backup.

    • KCMikeG

      I with you and don’t think Stanzi was ever given a real shot but you lost me at Tanney! IMO we should wait until next year for QB unless we can get Boyd as an UDRFA to come in and compete with Daniels & Bray.

      • Travis Forsyth

        Yeah, I might have lost a lot of people with that, but I saw Tanney’s trick-shot video and thought maybe with a little coaching he’d turn into something special but whatever…

  • berttheclock

    One interesting tie-in to this is Greg Rosenthal’s article over at about the Jags might be very interested in moving up into the 1st round to take Derek Carr. Their second round pick is at 38. A trade to 23 would leave 240 points which fits exactly at their 70 pick. So, should the Chiefs draft Carr and trade him to the Jags, they would gain the 38 in the 2nd round and the 70 in the 3rd.

    • freshmeat62

      I’d do that trade, although I think I prefer the one you mentioned a few days ago w/ SF for their 30th and 1 of their 3rd rd picks.

      • berttheclock

        Funny thing about SF is, now, with the new Aldon Smith problems, the Niners may try to move even higher to take Anthony Barr from UCLA. BTW, WalterFootball has the Jags staying pat and taking Garroppolo as their QB. Who knows?

        • freshmeat62

          That would be one heck of a jump up. Maybe that Shazier kid I mentioned a couple days ago would interest them. I knew nothing about him before but did some reading on him, and the kid is impressive. He’s not the prototypical size, but he sounds like a winner. As I remember Ray Lewis, and Mike Singletary, weren’t all that big either.

          • berttheclock

            Lots of Ups concerning Shazier. However, going over Walter Football lists of players in that 2nd and 3rd round, I found Trent Murphy of Stanford mentioned around the 105 slot. I don’t know if you have read about him, but, Rob Rang said he reminded him of seeing Jared Allen coming out of Idaho State. Not the most athletic guy, but, truly fierce and mean with an instinct for the ball.

            Hey, an aside for you. I can’t remember the name of the Samoan heritage defensive player, but, the other day I read comments from some scout about his being very tough, but, lacking lateral pursuit skills. The scout said he would be fierce in a phone booth.

          • freshmeat62

            I’d be happy w/ another Saleamua (sp)!!!

  • freshmeat62

    I wouldn’t draft him or any of the QB’s coming out this year. Maybe in the 5th rd or later, if someone they like is there. Of course it doesn’t hurt to act like you’re interested, for trade back purposes. But I imagine all of the 3 top QB’s, Bridgewater, Manziel, and Bortles, will be gone by 23. There’ll be some QB hungry teams take them, after all, last years crop wasn’t good either so teams will probably be getting desperate.

    I’m more interested to know the inside scoop on Bray. What do the Chiefs think of him now after a years coaching? Did he improve? Maybe w/ 1 more year of learning under Smith he’ll be ready to try and take the starting job? The kid does have the arm!!!

    • Michael Shaw

      “The kid does have the arm!!!” Absolutely what I have been saying this whole off season. Tyler has the arm to make the throws that everyone seems to think Alex can’t make, although I think that should have been dispelled last season as they let him fling it down field a couple of times. I don’t think we need another QB on this team unless we are thinking of trading Chase Daniels or Tyler to someone. If they do that then I can understand taking Bridgewater at 23 if he is there. I would hope someone would trade us for the pick to get him instead though. I still think we need Safety, DL/OL or if there isn’t a stud available get the best WR or TE available. We need to protect ourselves at the TE position because we cannot guarantee that Fasano and Kelce will be healthy. I have noticed in the NFL that once guys are injured for several games that sometimes they keep getting injured either due to bad luck or insufficient physical training. GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael Shaw

    I say NO. I say we either stay where we are or do what we can to trade down for more picks, similar to the New England style of drafting. As much as I HATE to say that!

  • Michael Shaw

    Does anyone think that we should draft OG Xavier Su’a Filo from UCLA at our #23 pick??? From what I have read, he seems like a beast of an offensive guard that would give us the starting guard we need. We could move Allen to RG and put this beast at LG which I think solidifies this offensive line for quite a few years. What do you think, my fellow Addicts??????????

    • berttheclock

      I’ve seen him on a number of mocks going anywhere from 20 or so to the end of the 1st round. I agree with what you say about him, except, I believe Allen should be shipped to Peoria as I fail to see any talent in him. Coming out of Illinois, where he had played OT, he was considered to be a fine run blocker, but, in the NFL, he appears to be only confused. One thing I noticed on some of the guards put up here at AA on mocks is the wording of digging in their respective heels against bull rushes. From what I’ve seen in both Asamoah and Allen is they couldn’t handle the really strong bull rushes of larger defensive tackles.

    • berttheclock

      A guard from Clemson was injured in trying to work out for some NFL team, so, others have decided against private workouts. So, I know this can not be done, but, I would love to see any prospective guard have to take the Poe Test. That is coming into Arrowhead and lining up across from Poe for a series of real tests.

  • jimfromkcj

    Nick, I feel the same about Bridgewater that I did about Griffith, He is small boned and more fragile looking then I would like. I doubt that Alex will ever get us to a Super Bowl, but as the structure of the team Has so many flaws and the cap situation is upside down, I don’t think any QB could take us to the Super Bowl anyway. We need to think big and fast when we think about the team. Big in the trenchs and fast at the skill positions. I would love to see us get out of the first rd with 2 or 3 picks in the 2nd rd. My top 2 players I would like to see as chiefs could probably be drafted in the 2nd rd. Matthews at WR and Jackson at OG.

    • berttheclock

      Your “big and fast” reminds me of the time Tommy Prothro was coaching UCLA and he went after little but gritty only to learn the hard way that the Trojans across town were out playing him with big and fast.

  • berttheclock

    Ever since the Mellinger bomb shell about trading Berry, I have looked more into the history of trade ups and downs in both the NFL as a whole and particularly with the Chiefs and how both Reid and Dorsey were involved in such in their past days. The more I read the more I am convinced this upcoming draft is going to be called “The Year of the trades, either, just for picks or moving players for picks” Take into consideration what Pat Kirwan of NFL Insider wrote about the supply and demand at certain positions and the possible trades become more logical. I still believe that BPA theory means only one thing to most GMs and that is the best player available for a particular need. So, the smart GM looks at the supply and demand for players at that position and makes up his mind whether to sit chilly or began a process of trades in order to tag that player. This draft is loaded at certain positions and light in others. Even some of the positions for, say, defensive lineman, come down to rotational players and not 3 down players. What jimfromkcj is saying looks more like what Bill Walsh used to do. Walsh would look at who he wanted and it did not matter to him where that player was placed in the draft. If he had to move up he did, if he had to move down he did and if, he had to sit chilly to wait for the player he did.

  • Brian Dempsey

    If Bridgewater falls to #23, it could set the stage for a trade-down for the Chiefs. I don’t believe the Chiefs would draft him. Need to see what they have with Bray, as he’s got as much upside as any QB in this draft.

    • redchiefs

      Good thought there. An opportunity to trade down some and get two or three picks for that slot. I can’t see where the front office thinks there is a complete hole anywhere on the team right now. I like your idea.

  • mnelson52

    I would not take a QB at 23. We have too many other needs at this point. I would not take a QB at all in this draft unless we can trade down for more picks. We need all six picks at this time to fill holes. If we could trade down, I would try to get AAron Murray in the 5th or 6th round. I think Reid could work wonders with him, depending on how his ACL injury heals. In 2013 he had 26 TD and 9 INTs. That’s a lot like A. Smith’s numbers. He also threw over 3000 yds. All 4 years of college. As far as Bray goes, he has all the physical skills, I just always thought he was lacking the skill between the ears to be a good NFL QB. I could be wrong though.

    • berttheclock

      One other lower round QB with a strong arm, but, who really needs a “QB Whisperer” is Tom Savage out of Pittsburgh. Gil Brandt has really been touting him.

      • mnelson52

        I really didn’t know much about Savage so I did some research. He has good size that I like. I would be curious to see what he can do with good coaching and a solid environment. I also like that he has played in a pro-style system.

  • thabear04


  • Lyle Graversen

    I would hope Dorsey could orchestrate a trade down if that happened. However, if KC did take a QB like Bridgewater (or Bortels, or Manziel) I would be excited because in order to take a QB over players at positions of greater need they would need to feel that he was too good to pass up. The idea of Andy Reid with a QB he liked so much that he couldn’t pass him up despite how much he seems to like Smith would be exciting.

  • PunjabiPete

    No. Thanks.

  • e_racer

    The Chiefs should absolutely draft Teddy Bridgewater if they have the chance. First, the Chiefs only have Alex Smith signed for one season. Drafting Bridgewater gives the Chiefs an option. Second, Bridgewater may prove to be better than Alex Smith in a season away. Bridgewater is probably the best QB in the draft, and may be second only to Andrew Luck. He is probably the equal to RG3 and Tannehill. You have to understand Teddy Bridgewater put up pretty good numbers despite having to throw to deplorable wide receivers and getting no help from his line.

    Currently, Alex Smith has the team over a barrel. As you stated, we can expect Alex Smith to demand an increase in salary. I think he will request something around $60M over 5 seasons. You could be correct. It could be a couple of million $ lower per year. The Chiefs would be in a much stronger negotiating position if they had a QBOTF on the team. It would cost the Chiefs nothing. That is because what they would pay for Bridgewater would be about the same as they would save by releasing Chase Daniel. Daniel’s contract is 3 years for $10M. Sharrif Floyd (#23 pick of 2013) signed a 4 year contract for $7.671 M. That means, even after taking some dead money, the Chiefs come out even. If Smith cannot come to terms with the Chiefs, then the Chiefs have a cheap option.

    Besides the money, the Chiefs need a QBOTF, and at 29 years of age it is not as likely to be Alex Smith as it is to be some other guy, such as Bridgewater (should he drop to the Chiefs).

  • tm1946

    If….. IF….. Andy thinksfeelscannot sleep nites with the thought that there are a QB for the ages just sitting out there, then, for me, you dump the plan, take a step back, put on your big boy pants, and you pick him and do without that decent WR for another year.

    No idea about bridgewater but don’t you have to do what it takes if start that roster for the “dynasty”. A great QB might be the place to start.

  • micah stephenson

    Of corse you take him.

  • micah stephenson

    It wouldn’t matter if the next Brady, Manning, Breese, dropped to 23. The Chiefs just don’t draft QBs 1st rd. Its against they draft philosophy.

  • Rob Ross

    If the Chiefs want to be competitive and make a run within the next two or three years they need wide receivers now. The clock is ticking on many of our veterin players including Jamal Charles. IMHO we have most of the pieces including a QB to make a run now. If we take a step backward and draft a 1st round QB, then we will be wasting the talent that we currently have. Because it will probably take years to develop said QB. And I think we all know what happens to speed half backs when they get on the wrong side of 30. Let’s win with Jamal and Alex.
    Also, the jury is still out on our 2013 draft class and free agent signings. There is some good talent there with Kelce, Commings and many others. GO CHIEFS!!!