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Teddy Bridgewater is getting a fresh start in a new place that suddenly has a crowded quarterbacks room 鈥?and could be adding another signal caller soon.
The New York Jets signed the former Minnesota Vikings star to a one-year contract [url=http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-paul-worrilow-jersey]Eagles Paul Worrilow Jersey[/url] , making the deal official Sunday.
Bridgewater's signing comes a day after the Jets traded up to acquire the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft from the Colts 鈥?likely with the intention of assuring themselves of getting one of the top available quarterbacks. New York dealt its first-rounder 鈥?No. 6 overall 鈥?along with two second-rounders and next year's second-rounder for Indianapolis' top pick this year.
The Jets have re-signed Josh McCown , who will likely head into the offseason programs as the starting quarterback, but both he and Bridgewater are on one-year deals.
So, the focus next month in the draft will be on finding the future of the franchise. New York also has Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on the roster, along with Joel Stave, but none appear to be viable candidates for the starting job 鈥?and their roster spots could be in serious jeopardy.
On a busy Sunday, New York also announced the signings of former Titans linebacker Avery Williamson and former Redskins center Spencer Long, along with the re-signings of cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive lineman Mike Pennel and safety Terrence Brooks.
The 25-year-old Bridgewater could give McCown 鈥?and presumably whomever New York takes in the draft 鈥?a run in training camp if completely healthy. He's still looking to return from a serious knee injury in August 2016 that sidelined him for most of the past two years. He threw just two passes last season for the Vikings, including one that was intercepted.
"I'm excited about the direction we're headed in," Bridgewater told the Jets' website. "I'm excited to be a part of something that can be very special and I just look forward to getting to work with the guys and a great year."
Bridgewater was a first-round pick in 2014 out of Louisville and was largely considered a rising star at his position. He made the Pro Bowl after his second NFL season, but his career was thrust into uncertainty when he suffered a serious non-contact knee injury during a team practice the following summer. Bridgewater tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and dislocated the knee joint, along with other structural damage.
For his career, Bridgewater has thrown for 6 [url=http://www.minnesotatwinsteamshop.com/authentic-eduardo-escobar-jersey]Eduardo Escobar Minnesota Twins Jersey[/url] ,150 yards and 28 touchdowns with 22 interceptions and a 64.7 percent completion rate. He has also run for four touchdowns. Financial details were not immediately released, but it is believed to be worth $6 million 鈥?not including additional incentives.
The 26-year-old Williamson spent his first four NFL seasons with Tennessee and led the Titans in tackles in two of those years. He'll be the replacement at inside linebacker for 29-year-old Demario Davis, who led the Jets in tackles last year with a career season but signed with New Orleans as a free agent after he said New York never offered him a deal.
Instead, the Jets went with the younger Williamson, who has 11陆 sacks and 377 tackles with two interceptions and three forced fumbles. He was given a three-year, $22.5 million deal and will combine with Darron Lee to man the middle of New York's linebacker group.
Williamson was a fifth-round pick out of Kentucky in 2014. He became a starter for the Titans early in his rookie season and was a consistent playmaker during his four years with the team.
"I know the defense," Williamson told the team's website of the Jets' 3-4 defensive alignment. "They have great guys up here that can play. This defense is hungry. You have young guys on it who are talented and I feel like I'm going to fit right in. I just have to get in and learn the playbook and get to work."
The Jets also addressed one of their other major needs by signing Long to a four-year deal worth $28 million.
Wesley Johnson was the starting center last season as the replacement for Nick Mangold, but struggled at times and is now a free agent. Long was a third-round draft pick out of Nebraska in 2014 and played both center and guard for the Redskins. He became Washington's starter at center early in the 2016 season after a season-ending injury to Kory Lichtensteiger.
"It took a lot of adjustment physically and mentally," Long said. "It's definitely different having the ball in your hands. In the meeting rooms is where the big changes came because I grew so much mentally as a player when I had to learn the center position. Ever since then, I've been able to build on a solid foundation. I'm excited. I think my best ball is yet to come at that position."
The 27-year-old Long was limited to just seven games last season, though, as he dealt with injuries to both legs and needed surgery on his quadriceps tendon.
Claiborne rejoins the Jets on a one-year deal worth $7 million, including a $3 million signing bonus. He was the team's top cornerback last season, but will now combine with Trumaine Johnson [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-royce-freeman-jersey]Authentic Royce Freeman Jersey[/url] , who signed a five-year, $72.5 million deal earlier this week, to form one of the NFL's most promising secondaries.
Pennel, back on a three-year deal worth $12 million, was a key backup for Todd Bowles' defense last season. He had a career-high 35 tackles in 16 games.
Brooks, who saw lots of playing time at safety and on special teams, was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after Week 3 with two interceptions against Miami. He signed a two-year contract.
They've been taking action for two weeks now in New Jersey, where basketball great Julius Erving helped kick things off with a $5 bet on the Philadelphia Eagles to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Sports betting is here, and it's not going anywhere soon. States are embracing their newly won right to offer wagers, and fans are responding by lining up at the betting windows to throw a few bucks on their favorite teams.
And, surprisingly enough to some, the major sports leagues have 鈥?so far at least 鈥?somehow managed to survive.
No one has tried to fix anything, as the NFL for years claimed would happen if sports betting was legalized. No one has cried foul over some shenanigans going on in a game.
And, best of all [url=http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/mike-hughes-jersey-cheap]Mike Hughes Jersey Vikings[/url] , no greedy sports league has managed to dip its fingers into the pie.
That may change if New York eventually passes a sports betting bill that didn't make the cut with legislators this year. Proposed legislation there calls for a 0.2 percent cut of betting revenue for the sports leagues, which claim they need it to pay for extra expenses associated with legal sports betting.
It's a bad idea, nothing more than a money grab by leagues that for years decried sports betting as immoral and a threat to their games 鈥?until they figured out there might be some money to be made on it.
But if the anecdotal evidence of two weeks of legal betting in a few states is any indication, there's a ton of money to be made.
A report released Wednesday by GamblingCompliance, a Washington-based research firm, predicted sports betting will be legal in 25 to 37 states within five years. Billions of dollars will be wagered, with gross gaming win expected to top $5 billion by 2023 alone.
That translates into total wagering of some $100 billion a year alone, a staggering figure 20 times what was bet legally in Nevada last year.
Bookies will get their cut, and so will the states taxing the winnings. The report predicts New Jersey and Pennsylvania will surpass Nevada in sports betting revenue within five years, with just over $300 million in win each, and New York will likely end up being the biggest sports betting market in the nation once legislation is passed there to legalize it 鈥?especially if it includes online betting.
"Online sports betting in New York is single biggest opportunity we see emerging in next few years," said James Kilsby, managing director of GamblingCompliance.
So far, at least [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/kolton-miller-jersey-cheap]Kolton Miller Raiders Jersey[/url] , it appears the sports betting market will be robust. Bettors in New Jersey have already embraced the limited rollout there, and five other states are on track to offer betting by the upcoming NFL season.
Whether the sports leagues end up getting a piece of the action remains to be seen. New Jersey specifically cut the leagues out, not surprising because they fought the state in court for years over efforts to legalize sports betting, and there is no fee in any of the states on the verge of offering bets.
But with the so-called integrity fee floundering, the leagues are moving in another direction. The latest plan involves charging for the use of stats generated in their games because, as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this month, "it's ultimately our intellectual property, and we think we should be compensated for it."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said much the same thing at the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas.
"If you're going to allocate for yourself to run a business on our intellectual property and the performance of our athletes and the platform that we put on for our games, we're entitled to be involved in that," Bettman said.
Unfortunately for the leagues, that ship has mostly sailed. Nevada built up a respectable 鈥?and profitable 鈥?sports betting business over the years with no help from the leagues, who fought sports betting at every turn and often warned about dire moral consequences should it be legalized outside the state.
For them to now want a cut of the action would be laughable if they weren't so serious about it.
The bottom line is the NBA didn't want anything to do with Las Vegas or legal betting. Neither did Major League Baseball or the NFL, which just a few years ago wouldn't even allow Las Vegas hotels to advertise on the Super Bowl broadcast because it was fearful that would somehow taint the game.
To reward them now would be nearly as foolish as banning sports betting was in the first place.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or ://timdahlberg
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