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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 4: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings tosses the ball during player warm ups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 4, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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There’s one Broncos QB trade scenario flying under the radar

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

It’s clear the Broncos are looking for a quarterback to replace Drew Lock as the team’s starter, as illustrated by Denver making the Detroit Lions an offer for Matthew Stafford.

They want to upgrade the position.

Obviously, the dream scenario would be to land Deshaun Watson, but there’s another name to think about: Teddy Bridgewater.

This scenario is more realistic than people might think.

The Carolina Panthers showed they were willing to move on from Bridgewater after they also attempted to trade for Stafford, who ended up in Los Angeles with the Rams.

Carolina is reportedly also interested in Watson, who NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said would make a “strong push” for the star quarterback.

But the Broncos have a connection with Bridgewater. Newly hired general manager George Paton was with the Minnesota Vikings when they drafted Bridgewater in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Bridgewater spent three seasons with the Vikings before a gruesome leg injury sidelined him in 2016. In his 28 starts with Minnesota, the gunslinger from Louisville completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 6,150 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Bridgewater also started his only playoff appearance in 2015 with the Vikings after leading Minnesota to an 11-5 record.

Last season, Bridgewater signed a three-year deal with the Panthers worth $63 million, with $40 million guaranteed in his first two seasons, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Bridgewater’s cap hit in 2021 will be $22.9 million and there’s a potential out in his contract in 2022.

In 15 starts with the Panthers last season, Bridgewater led the team to a 4-11 record. However, he completed a career high 69.1 percent of his passes for just more than 3,700 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Many believed Bridgewater’s career to be over, and he would finish up his career as a backup, until he filled in for the injured Drew Brees in 2019. Bridgewater led the Saints to a 5-0 record, completing nearly 68 percent of his passes for 1,384 yards and nine touchdowns with just two interceptions.

If the Broncos wanted to construct a trade for Bridgewater, more than likely they wouldn’t have to give up their first-round pick at No. 9 overall. But they would probably need to give up a mid-round pick.

It’s also likely that Denver would ask for some draft compensation in return to take on Bridgewater’s contract.

If this deal does get done, Bridgewater instantly becomes the starter for the Broncos, forcing Lock back to the bench to see if he can develop in the long term.

If Deshaun Watson is not available for Denver, trading for Bridgewater makes too much sense for the Broncos.