Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will call it an NFL career at the conclusion of the 2023 season. The veteran quarterback told the Detroit Free Press as much this week in a fantastic story from Dave Birkett.
Bridgewater told Birkett that he was contemplating retirement after the birth of his second son this offseason, but after several conversations with Lions coach Dan Campbell, he decided to give it one more go-around.
“I was really like content with being done,” Bridgewater said. “And it wasn’t really like much that went into it, it was just I felt healthy, I could walk away on my own terms and that was that. But when Dan, like we talked, and we talked, and we talked, and we talked, and it was like, ‘Man, all right, Dan, I got you.’”
Campbell’s pitch was to come to Detroit, enjoy the vibes, and help groom the next generation of football players—in particular, rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker and second-year receiver Jameson Williams. In a press conference this week, Campbell explained just how successful Bridgewater has been at being a mentor.
“Teddy’s been unbelievable for a lot of people here,” Campbell said, unprompted. “He’s a huge asset for us, aside from the obvious, which is if we need him, he’s a guy that can go in and win for us. But, man, he does so many things behind the scenes that I think a lot of people don’t even realize. He’s a valuable asset for our team.”
Upon his retirement, Bridgewater plans to start a coaching career at the high school level back in his hometown just outside of Miami.
Bridgewater’s NFL career has spanned 10 seasons, beginning as a first-round pick and starter for the Minnesota Vikings before a serious leg injury derailed that path. Since then, his journey has had stops with the Jets, Saints, Panthers, Broncos, and Dolphins before now ending in Detroit.
In what could be a poetic ending, if the Lions clinch in the NFC North and their seeding is set, Bridgewater could play in Detroit’s regular season finale against the team who started it all: the Vikings.
Whether that happens or not, Bridgewater’s career has been a memorable and impactful one. Please read Birkett’s article on the influence he has had on Hooker, Williams, and just about every place he’s landed.