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Teddy Bridgewater: I told my agent I didn’t want to go to Browns

Teddy BridgewaterThe Cleveland Browns and Teddy Bridgewater appear to be playing a little game of “you can’t fire me, I quit.”

On Monday, we shared a bizarre report with you that indicated the Browns were 10 seconds away from drafting Bridgewater but decided to go with Johnny Manziel at the last second. Bridgewater claims it doesn’t matter, because he didn’t want to go to Cleveland anyway.

During an appearance on Tuesday’s edition of “The Dan Patrick Show,” Bridgewater said he told his agent the Browns aren’t the team for him.

“There was a chance, but I actually told my agent that that’s not the place I want to be,” Bridgewater claimed. “Throughout this entire process I’ve felt comfortable with the Minnesota Vikings. It’s a family environment and the players (are) a great group of guys, so I felt comfortable wanting to play here.”

Were the Browns about to draft Bridgewater when the former Louisville star’s agent informed the team that he did not want to play there? That seems doubtful. I’m more inclined to believe that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam strong-armed his football people into taking Manziel. Plus a homeless guy told him to do it, so…

H/T Paul Pabst

Report: Browns were 10 seconds from drafting Teddy Bridgewater over Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns

How certain were the Cleveland Browns that Johnny Manziel was their guy when they traded up to the No. 22 spot in the first round of the draft? That depends on who you ask.

According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, there is a “story going around” that Browns general manager Ray Farmer was about to select Teddy Bridgewater with the 22nd pick when team owner Jimmy Haslam stepped in at the last second.

A source told me that the card prepared to be given to Commissioner Roger Goodell for the official announcement in Radio City Music Hall originally had Bridgewater’s name on it. Then with 10 seconds to go, a new card replaced it with the name of Johnny Manziel, as a result of owner Jimmy Haslam’s order.

Browns spokesman Zak Gilbert told Grossi that he was in the draft room and that never happened. Farmer reiterated that Haslam did not force the Browns’ football people into making any decisions on draft day.

“I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Jimmy Haslam at no point demanded, requested or tried to influence the process in any way,” Farmer said. “He definitely asked questions. He’ll definitely give his opinion of what he thinks and all of those things are fine, but at the end of the day he trusted the football staff to make the decisions that we thought were the right decisions for this football team.”

There has been little to no buzz surrounding the Browns over the past several years, so you can understand why Haslam would have wanted to pick Manziel. He’s also a very good football player who brings a winning attitude. Plus, Haslam said a homeless person convinced him to draft Manziel when he was out to dinner days before the draft. There’s no way the change was made with 10 seconds left on the clock, right?

H/T The Big Lead

Vikings reportedly had Johnny Manziel ahead of Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy BridgewaterThe Minnesota Vikings drafted a coveted quarterback at the end of the first round on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they got their No. 1 choice on their list.

ESPN’s Bob Holtzman reported Friday that an assistant coach who had seen the team’s draft board said the Vikings had Johnny Manziel ahead of Teddy Bridgewater.

It’s also been reported that the Vikings were trying to work a trade to draft Manziel later in the first round, which is what the Cleveland Browns managed to do.

Not getting Manziel and ending up with Bridgewater does not mean the Vikings aren’t happy, but it does tell us that they preferred to have Johnny Football.

This will be a great nugget to keep in mind as we see each quarterback develop in the league.

Vikings found Teddy Bridgewater has abnormal heartbeat

Teddy BridgewaterThe Minnesota Vikings found that Teddy Bridgewater has an abnormal heartbeat, but it obviously wasn’t enough of an issue to dissuade them from drafting the former Louisville quarterback in the first round. Minnesota traded back into the first round Thursday to select Bridgewater with the 32nd overall pick.

According to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, they did so despite finding out in the pre-draft process that Bridgewater has an abnormal heartbeat. Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said Bridgewater came in for a second physical because of the irregular heartbeat.

Bridgewater apparently had no idea about it, and he says no other teams checked on him about it.

Like Manziel, Bridgewater fell in the draft based on initial projections. At first many analysts had him as the top quarterback and potentially going first in the draft. But Bridgewater struggled on his pro day and in some private workouts, and his accuracy issues gave some teams pause. The Vikings figured he was worth trading back into the first to draft because they wanted the option for a fifth year on his contract in case he pans out.

I feel about Bridgewater much the same way I did about Christian Ponder: I don’t like the pick. Accuracy issues don’t improve in the NFL; they only get worse. Although I will say that Bridgewater at least completed over 70 percent of his passes last season at Louisville and threw just four interceptions, so that is a good sign.

Teddy Bridgewater is not going to collect on insurance policy if he falls in draft

Teddy Bridgewater LouisvilleTeddy Bridgewater’s draft stock appears to be falling, but fear not — the man still stands to strike it rich! Well, that’s what misleading headlines would lead you to believe.

Bridgewater was initially thought to be a definite top-10 pick in the NFL draft and potential No. 1 overall pick, but since struggling at his pro day and in workouts with individual teams, his “stock” has supposedly fallen.

Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Bridgewater being selected in the second round of the draft in his recent projection. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said he wouldn’t take Teddy in the first round.

Even though Bridgewater’s stock is falling, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that the former Louisville quarterback took out a loss-of-value insurance policy connected to an injury policy prior to the draft. The eye-catching headline makes you think that thanks to the policy, Bridgewater would cash in on $5 million if he falls out of the first round.

But it’s not that simple.

In order to collect the $5 million, Bridgewater would have to prove that an illness or injury is the reason why he fell in the draft.

As far as we all know, Bridgewater is neither sick nor injured. Even if he were, you know how difficult insurance companies make it to collect?

Bridgewater taking out the insurance policy was probably a smart idea as some sort of protection, but don’t expect him to strike it rich through it. His best chance of becoming rich is by playing well in the NFL and proving the current doubters wrong.

Teddy Bridgewater reportedly struggling in his private workouts

Teddy Bridgewater LouisvilleTeddy Bridgewater already had a shaky pro day according to some evaluators, and the NFL draft prospect’s private workouts apparently have not gone much better.

According to Rotoworld, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Friday that Bridgewater’s private workouts with NFL teams “have also gone very shakily.” Mortensen says Bridgewater’s private passing sessions with teams have been underwhelming.

One concern teams apparently have is the small size of Teddy’s hands. One of the prospects competing with Bridgewater for the top draft spot is Johnny Manziel. Though Manziel is not tall, he has large hands.

Bridgewater has been considered to be in the mix for the top overall pick, along with Manziel and Blake Bortles. He was extremely accurate at Louisville, completing at least 64.5 percent of his passes each season since his freshman year. He improved his completion percentage each season and topped out at 71 percent last season, while producing 31 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Bridgewater is listed at 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds. I don’t think he’ll be the top overall pick in the draft, but I anticipate that he’ll be selected in the first 40 picks.

Teddy Bridgewater entering NFL draft, may sign with Jay-Z

Teddy Bridgewater LouisvilleTeddy Bridgewater is leaving Louisville for the NFL draft, and a report says he may sign with Jay-Z’s sports agency.

Bridgewater is a junior and had the option of returning to school, but he had a spectacular bowl game and announced Wednesday that he is going pro. Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns in Louisville’s 36-9 win over Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The great performance may have propelled his stock even higher. He’s expected to be among the first players selected in the draft.

National Football Post reporter Jason Cole says Bridgewater has been talking to Jay-Z’s Roc Sports Nation and is strongly considering picking them to represent him.

Jay-Z became a sports agent last year and signed Robinson Cano, Kevin Durant, Victor Cruz, Skylar Diggins and Geno Smith.

Bridgewater expressed his thanks to Louisville in a tweet sent Wednesday:

In addition to Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney and Brett Hundley (if he decides to go pro) are also said to be considering Roc Nation Sports.