Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Person describes 49ers’ inquiries about Teddy Bridgewater as ‘preliminary’

Mar 2, 2021 at 5:50 PM--

Joe Person of The Athletic reported on Monday that the San Francisco 49ers are among the teams that have reached out to the Carolina Panthers to inquire about quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. That doesn't necessarily mean that anything is imminent, though. The team may have simply been doing its due diligence.

Of course, the report led to some interesting social-media speculation and sports-radio talk. Person stated within his article that, based on general manager John Lynch's previous comments, he feels San Francisco might be looking into Bridgewater as a potential backup for Jimmy Garoppolo. Of course, that would be a lot of salary to adopt for a backup to a starter who eats up a significant portion of the salary cap himself.

Person joined KNBR on Tuesday to discuss his report and thoughts surrounding the 49ers' inquiry.

"I do think, at this point, you could call it 'preliminary,' 'due diligence,' anything along those lines," Person said on the Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show. "By the way, there are other teams that have called them. It just happens that the Niners are the only ones that have been identified."

Despite the financial obstacles, Person reiterated that he believes San Francisco envisions Bridgewater as a backup and not a replacement for Garoppolo.

"Teddy Bridgewater was an excellent backup quarterback in New Orleans," he added. "That's what kind of got him this contract here in Charlotte to see if he could be the guy. It didn't work out all that well last year, and so I think the Panthers, it feels like this bridge is burned here.

"... You guy know how this works; if teams all know that you're getting ready to cut a guy, then the Niners, or anybody else, might just sit tight and not bother flipping a couple of ... I think [the Panthers] would be hopeful to get like a mid-round pick or two. ... And again, it might be less than that if the world knows you're getting ready to cut him."

Still, the idea of Garoppolo remaining on the roster and then trading for Bridgewater doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The 49ers are only expected to have about $13 million in salary-cap space and still have to re-sign some of their own free agents.

Were the 49ers perhaps looking into Bridgewater as an option should a rookie quarterback fall to them in the draft? Person said that he spoke with another NFC team official and asked about the Bridgewater-49ers possibility.

"He said, 'I would think that would be if the 49ers were ready to draft somebody and then bring Bridgewater in,'" Person said. "Again, this certainly seemed to me like this was all still very preliminary. Let's not forget either ... that (Panthers head coach) Matt Rhule and (49ers assistant general manager) Adam Peters have a background and a history.

"Of course, Peters was here—at least virtually—interviewed for the Panthers GM job. That may have been where the conversation started. That may not have gone any farther than that. I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that Matt Rhule and Peters were on the phone talking, just sort of spitballing a little bit."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Person below.

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