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What will Teddy Bridgewater get in free agency?

Mike Florio and Charean Williams debate if Drew Brees or Philip Rivers will retire first and if Melvin Gordon or Derrick Henry will ink pen to paper for a new deal.

Forget TB12, at least for now. There’s another TB who will definitely be a free agent next month, and some are suggesting that Teddy Bridgewater could cash in significantly.

Via multiple accounts on Twitter and elsewhere, Jeremy Fowler said on ESPN Monday that Bridgewater will have a strong market, and that he could make $30 million per year under his next contract.

Needless to say, that would represent a gigantic bump of the one-year, $7.25 million deal Bridgewater signed a year ago to remain with the Saints, who sent a third-round pick to the Jets to acquire the 2014 first-rounder in 2018.

Ultimately, anyone is worth whatever someone will pay them. But in a market that will be full of plenty of current and former starting quarterbacks, $30 million for Bridgewater is a lot.

Bridgewater has 34 career starts, but he has started only six games since 2015. And although he went 5-0 as a starter last season in place of Drew Brees, is that enough to put Bridgewater north of players like Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million) and Kirk Cousins ($28 million)?

If there were no other free-agent quarterbacks, maybe. But the 2020 quarterback class features an unprecedented number of free agents and potentially available quarterbacks who are under contract (like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton), the notion that Bridgewater and his career passer rating of 88.3 with 38 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions would get $30 million per year seems like a stretch.

I love Teddy. I hope he gets a huge contract. I hope he becomes what he seemed to be poised to become when he suffered a fluke ACL tear in late August 2016. But if really does him no favors to have a number like that out there, because whatever he gets will be viewed as a failure in comparison.

A more realistic number, all things considered, would seem to be in the range of $24 million. And if that ends up being low, good. It’s always better for a guy to get more than he was expected to get than less.