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New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is pressured New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) drops back to pass under pressure from the Carolina Panthers defense during the second half against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints lost 33-14.

The Saints signed Drew Brees on March 14 after he met with the Miami Dolphins.

Thirteen years later on the same day, the Saints have signed Teddy Bridgewater after he met with the Dolphins.

It’s too soon to know if this move will make Bridgewater the eventual successor to Brees. For now, he’ll work as the backup quarterback, just as he did last season after New Orleans acquired him in exchange for a third-round pick.

But the positive thing to take from this is that the possibility exists that Bridgewater will one day take over and lead this organization to prosperity, much the way Brees did when coming here all those years ago.

“(Thirteen) years later, I’m trying to see if history will repeat itself in my favor at some point,” Bridgewater wrote on Twitter.

New Orleans has remained high on Bridgewater and said one of the benefits of trading for him was that it allowed the organization to evaluate him for a year. The rest of the league got a look at him in a Week 17 game, a performance that was somewhat underwhelming after the quarterback pieced together a very promising preseason while with the New York Jets.

Playing alongside reserve players and forcing passes to Michael Thomas to help him break the franchise’s single-season receiving record, Bridgewater connected on 14-of-22 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. But the Saints understood the circumstances and continued to sing the quarterback’s praises and laud his practice performances.

In other years, Bridgewater’s return from a knee injury that knocked him out of action for two seasons after a promising start to his career with the Minnesota Vikings would have been enough for a team to make a stronger commitment to him. But the 2014 first-round pick found himself on the market alongside several other quarterbacks, such as Case Keenum and Nick Foles, during a time when most teams feel comfortable with their starter.

In the end, that left Bridgewater choosing between a reported one-year, $7.5 million deal from the Saints and an offer from the Dolphins which, at least initially, was said to be for two years and $10 million. It’s unclear if Miami’s offer became stronger after Bridgewater visited them Wednesday.

The news comes on the same day New Orleans freed up $10.8 million in cap space by restructuring Brees’ contract, according to a source.

There will come a time when New Orleans will need to begin moving on from Brees, who turned 40 in January. He had a legitimate shot at winning the MVP with his play during the early portion of the season but began to fade after Thanksgiving and never quite regained his early form. He finished last year with 3,992 yards passing, 32 touchdowns and five interceptions on 74.4 percent passing.

There is little reason to think that Brees is teetering on the edge or that the end is near, but the Saints also must be conscious that the end could come quickly. If the succession plan already isn’t in place, a capable backup at least needs to be on the roster.

If Bridgewater does prove himself to be the long-term answer, next year will be interesting. A strong preseason and, if it comes, a better Week 17 performance could entice someone to make a more significant commitment and offer a better opportunity. At some point, Bridgewater is going to want to start games.

But that is a way down the road. For now, the Saints might have the best backup quarterback in the league and a possible solution for the future. That’s an excellent spot to be in.


Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​