The Bridgewater Effect

It’s amazing how one single event can completely change the future.  In a split second everything that was 20 seconds ago, is completely different now.  It happens every day.  Unfortunately, the outcome is negative much of the time.  Violence, car accidents, medical diagnoses are some instances where the future might not turn out so great.  Then there are those times when one event can start a series of events that can change the future in such a positive way, it seems unreal. 

I wouldn’t nor my family would be here if one little thing happened as it was supposed to.  When my grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, he missed a flight because he was stuck in a meeting.  That flight ended up crashing and killing everybody inside. Crazy, right?  That’s not what this post is about, but I just wanted to share that.  What this post is about is how an injured Minnesota Vikings quarterback helped propel the Eagles toward a championship.

Teddy Bridgewater injury. Source : American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

The Injury

On August 30, 2016, during practice, Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass.  When he planted his back foot he immediately went down.  Bridgewater suffered a complete tear to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as well as other structural damage.  Dan Cooper was the surgeon that performed the 4 ½ hour surgery to repair the damage.  Speaking to ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Cooper describes the injury as ‘grotesque’ and ‘mangled’.  He was done for the season.

Back at Vikings camp, there was now an issue of who would be the starting quarterback.  Would Bridgewater’s backup, Shaun Hill, take the reigns and lead the Vikings or would they have to seek out a better replacement? 

Sam Bradford. Source : Getty Images

The Trade

The day Bridgewater suffered his injury, Sam Bradford was slated to be the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was entering his 2nd year with the Eagles after being traded for Nick Foles the year prior. Bradford has never been a durable quarterback. Before joining the Eagles, he tore his ACL twice missing 25 games and sprained his ankle missing six games. That is not even counting the college games he missed. The definition of injury-prone is Sam Bradford. This guy limped his way to millions of dollars. In the 2016 draft, the Eagles traded up to select Carson Wentz with the 2nd overall pick. He was the future, not Sammy Sleeves. Bradford was just the stopgap before Wentz was ready. Little did we all know that would be sooner than later.

On September 3, 2016, the Eagles pull off a trade that I still don’t believe.  The Vikings were sending the Eagles their 2017 1st round draft pick as well as a 2018 conditional 4th round pick (it stayed a 4th) in exchange for Sam Bradford.  I don’t know how Howie pulled it off but somehow, he got a first for Fragile Sam.  The 2017 1st round pick ended up being DE Derek Barnett and the 2018 4th round pick DE Josh Sweat.

The unexpected trade now left them without their projected starting quarterback. Would they let veteran and lifetime back-up Chase Daniel take the reins, or would they throw rookie Carson Wentz into the fire? They made the right decision.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and quarterback Nick Foles walk out of the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Outcome

Carson Wentz had a typical but promising rookie season.  He didn’t have the proper training camp time to prepare to be the starter, but I think mentally he was always ready.  His numbers weren’t great, but he showed that he could handle the pressure of being an NFL starting quarterback.

In 2017, as everybody knows, Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season, leading the Eagles to an 11-2 record before suffering a torn ACL ending his season. Ironically, the player the Eagles traded to the Rams for Sam Bradford, leads the Eagles to their first Super Bowl Championship. I still get the chills thinking about that.

What If?

Luckily, we don’t have to worry about this, but what if Teddy Bridgewater’s knee didn’t go out dropping back for a pass in practice?  Sam Bradford would have started the 2016 season for the Eagles.  There is a good chance he would have hurt himself breathing or opening a jar of pickles, but Wentz would not have had that full 16 game schedule to get adjusted to the NFL.  Whether Bradford would have been injured or not, he would have more than likely be back with the Eagles in 2017 leaving no reason for the Eagles to re-sign Nick Foles as a free agent.  The Eagles would not have been able to draft Derek Barnett in 2017 who contributed to one of the biggest plays in Eagles history recovering Tom Brady’s fumble in Super Bowl 52.  What would the Eagles look like right now heading into the 2020 season?  What if The Bridgewater Effect never happened?

What are your opinions?  How do you think the 2016 and 2017 seasons would have turned out if Bradford were still around?  Please comment below.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

One comment

  1. The Birds would probably have still made the playoffs, but I highly doubt they would have landed in the Super Bowl. Everything happens for a reason, and though this “everything” unfortunately changed Teddy B’s career forever, Howie made lemonade outta lemons and here we all sit with a SB championship!

    Liked by 1 person

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