Drew Lock's future uncertain with Denver's trade for Teddy Bridgewater

Dave Matter
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) celebrates with fans following a win against Detroit in his rookie season. Lock, the former Missouri star and a Lee's Summit High School graduate, may be in jeopardy of losing his job as Denver's starter after the Broncos traded for Teddy Bridgewater this week.

Drew Lock is officially on alert.

The Denver Broncos were expected to be a player in the quarterback market during this week's NFL draft, but they addressed that position with a trade Wednesday, acquiring former Pro Bowl QB Teddy Bridgewater from Carolina for a sixth-round draft pick. Bridgewater, 28, has started 49 career games over six seasons in Minnesota, New Orleans and Carolina and thrown 53 touchdowns and for more than 11,000 yards. He posted career-high figures last season for passing yards (3,733) and passing touchdowns (15).

Denver could still use the No. 9 pick in Thursday's NFL draft on a quarterback – Ohio State's Justin Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance? – but could address other needs and stand pat with a training camp competition between Bridgewater and Lock, a 2019 second-round choice from Mizzou. Lock, 24, a Lee’s Summit High School graduate, started 13 games last fall, completing 57.3% of his throws for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The Broncos haven't voiced full-throttle support for Lock as their franchise quarterback but haven't given up on him either. Denver was reportedly active in the offseason quarterback carousel that saw several established QBs relocate in recent months. Lock, heading into the third year of his four-year rookie contract, is still a Bronco - for now.

"Acquiring Teddy Bridgewater adds competition, experience and a strong veteran presence to our quarterback room," Denver general manager George Paton said in a press release. "He's a talented player and leader who's had success in this league in a number of different situations. Being familiar with Teddy from Minnesota, he's going to compete and do everything he can to help us win."

"We've evaluated all the quarterbacks," the newly hired GM added. "We like Drew Lock. We have a plan in place and there's free agency, there's the draft, there's trades, there's a lot of ways to acquire a quarterback. Fortunately, we have a quarterback here and we have a nice quarterback room. We do want to bring in competition. We are not going to force it. We are monitoring the market right now."

That market has included two other free-agent quarterbacks from Mizzou. Chase Daniel, 34, signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers after playing last season in Detroit. Blaine Gabbert, 31, Tom Brady's backup for the Super Bowl champions in Tampa, remains a free agent.