NEW ORLEANS — Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who led the team to a 5-0 record during Drew Brees' absence with an injury last year is going to be the new franchise quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, according to reports.

The Panthers parted ways with Cam Newton earlier in the day, saying he could seek a trade.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the deal would be for three years and worth $60 million.

Bridgewater took over when Brees injured his hand and summarily beat Seattle, Dallas, Tampa, Jacksonville and Chicago. For the season he threw for 1,384 yards with 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His performance in the five games, all Saints wins, likely saved a season that seemed lost when Brees got hurt.  

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But when Brees decided to come back for another season at age 41, and with the Saints expected to spend big to keep multi-skilled player Taysom Hill as the possible successor to Brees as a Lamar Jackson-type of QB.

With Brees signing a new two-year, $50 million deal, the Saints couldn't pay Bridgewater a starting quarterback's salary and he has earned it.