Passionate and enthusiastic in his games, Teddy Bridgewater has always been known for his stellar football performances right from his high school days. His football intelligence, work ethic, as well as a decent skill set has helped him in gaining the love and admiration of millions of fans. It has also earned him the respect of his peers whilst establishing him as one of the most promising quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL). Sadly, all of these promises and potentials were threatened by a freak injury that nearly scuttled Bridgewater’s nascent career.
The famous NFL quarterback was born as Theodore Bridgewater Jr. on November 10, 1992, in Liberty City, Miami, Florida. He hails from a family of six comprising of his father, Teddy Bridgewater Sr., his mother, Rose Murphy, as well as three older siblings named Harry Gathers, Nicole Gathers, and Andrea Bridgewater. Teddy Sr. bailed on the family while the NFL star was still young and it fell on Rose to raise the kids alone. The lady rose to the occasion and made sure that the kids had access to both education and sporting activities.
The Genesis of His Career as a Football Player
Passionate about football from his early years, Teddy Bridgewater attended Northwestern High School where he seized the golden opportunity to develop his football skills. He played as a starting quarterback and at the end of his career in high school, completed 97 of 160 pass attempts for 16 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and 1,560 yards.
Teddy led his school to the semi-final and finals of the 6A State championship. His outstanding performance also earned him an invite to the prestigious US Army All-American Bowl.
Following the end of his high school career, Teddy Bridgewater moved to the University of Louisville where he continued his impressive form. In his first year, he completed 191 of 296 passes for 2,129 yards with 14 touchdowns. As such, he was named the best rookie in the Big East Conference. The young lad, however, did not allow such an honor to get to his head. He rather remained humble and focused on improving his already perfect game in the subsequent seasons. As a sophomore, teddy completed 267 passes for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns.
This feat helped his team to win the Big East Conference title and he was consequently named the Big East Conference offensive player of the year. The Miami native would also haul in another title for his school in his junior/final year. This was the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl and it came at the end of a campaign in which he completed 303 of 427 passes for 3,970 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. In the Bowl game itself, Teddy completed 35 passes for three touchdowns and 447 yards and was named the Most Valuable Player.
Teddy Bridgewater’s Promising Start in The NFL
Coming from a successful college career, Teddy Bridgewater was projected as one of the top prospects for the NFL 2014 Draft and he did not disappoint. He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 32nd pick in the first round of the draft and subsequently signed a four-year contract with the franchise. Bridgewater made his regular-season NFL debut on September 21, 2014, in a match against the New Orleans Saints. He finished with 150 passing yards and in his next game, improved to 317 yards and a touchdown.
The Miami native continued this impressive form for the rest of the year and by the end of the season, totaled 2,919 passing yards with 259 passes completed and 14 touchdowns. This feat fetched him several awards including 2014 Pepsi Rookie of the year Award. He was also named to the PFWA All-Rookie team. Teddy Bridgewater continued his dazzling output in his sophomore season. He received his first Pro-Bowl selection and many tipped him to go on to become one of the very best that the NFL has ever seen. All these dreams, however, came crashing after he suffered a horrific knee/leg injury while training with his teammates in August 2016.
Overcoming a Grave Injury
The injury happened without contact with any other person and simply occurred just as the player dropped back to pass during a drill. He tripped awkwardly and his knee dislocated, causing multiple ligaments to tear throughout his entire leg. Bridgewater’s injury was so severe that the Vikings had to call 911. The player was later transported to Dallas, Texas, for multi-ligament reconstruction surgery while his team concealed all recordings of the injury given how gruesome it was.
Following the surgery, Bridgewater’s doctors revealed that everything in his knee was blown off and that his injury was like a “war wound”. They further revealed that he would be sidelined for about 19 months and that his chances of playing pro football were at best slim, and at worst, over. This dire prognosis affected Bridgewater but he decided to continue fighting. The player released a statement thanking fans for their prayers and support; thereof, he maintained that he would be borrowing a leaf from his mom who had successfully battled and conquered breast cancer.
Teddy Bridgewater stayed true to his words and continued working on his physical and mental rehab. He eventually got back to his feet and returned to light training in June 2017, almost a year after the injury. He later made his professional return in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on the 17th of December 2017 and was given a standing ovation by the crowd.
Since that comeback, Bridgewater has slowly but steadily worked his way back to his pre-injury form. Many are once more predicting that he will become a great quarterback someday in the nearest future.
Details of His Career Earnings and Net Worth
Teddy Bridgewater has not accumulated much in terms of salaries and earnings. There is however no doubt that he would build a big fortune in the future if he continues with his impressive form and avoids injuries. For now, the Miami native has a net worth of $2 million and this majorly stems from his playing salaries. His rookie deal was a four-year contract worth $6.85 million and it paid him an average salary of $1.7 million per annum.
Following the expiration of the contract, the Vikings refused to renew it given his injury issues. The quarterback, therefore, bounced from the New York Jets to the New Orleans Saints and received one-year deals worth $6 million and $7.25 million respectively. The latter deal was fully guaranteed while the former only assured Bridgewater of a guaranteed sum of $500,000. All that is however in the past as the Miami native is now the beneficiary of a three-year deal worth $63 million. He signed the contract with the Carolina Panthers in March 2020 and is set to receive $8 million and $17 million in his first and second years respectively.
Bridgewater boasts of a calm-headed and humble personality and is not given to ostentatious lifestyle or lavish spendings. The quarterback, however, seemed to act out of character after he presented a pink Cadillac Escalade to his mom.
This gift was in fulfillment of a promise he had made to her as a child and his mom was naturally overjoyed. The player, however, revealed that he did not buy the car as it was just a gift from the manufacturer. Cadillac had gotten wind of that sweet promise and they decided to help him fulfill it.