Among the major, longtime starting quarterbacks that will likely become free agents this season, Andy Dalton isn’t the biggest name. Tom Brady may move on from the New England Patriots, while Philip Rivers is widely expected to be on the way out from the Los Angeles Chargers.
Still, the Cincinnati Bengals QB has been the team’s starter since his rookie year in 2011. Dalton has 133 starts during that time, leading to playoff runs in four straight seasons from 2011-14. He made the Pro Bowl in 2011, 2014, and 2016. This fall, the team made the decision to give Ryan Finley a shot, but the future at the position for the Bengals is pretty clear.
With the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU’s Joe Burrow is the presumed pick and quarterback of the future for the franchise. The Ohio native, and popular former Ohio State Buckeye, is coming off of perhaps the most impressive statistical season for a quarterback in college football history. Combined with the injury concerns for Tua Tagovailoa, and this one feels like a slam dunk.
In his new column predicting moves for AFC teams, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell pencils in the Bengals taking Burrow. That begs the question of Dalton’s future. He imagines that the team will opt to cut the veteran quarterback, rather than dealing him for a late-round pick somewhere. What is more interesting, however, is his prediction for where Andy Dalton will end up. That comes in the NFC edition of his column.
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) February 13, 2020
With the potential impending flame-out of former No. 2 pick Mitch Trubisky, Barnwell thinks Chicago could be an interesting spot for Dalton, in case the team wants to bench Trubisky. From ESPN:
The Bears replaced (Mark) Helfrich this offseason with former Bengals coordinator Bill Lazor. While Lazor isn’t expected to make the playcalls with Matt Nagy in charge, the Bears could consider going after one of Lazor’s former charges in Andy Dalton, 32, who is still technically under contract with the Bengals. Cincinnati will likely cut Dalton to hand the starting job to presumed first overall pick Joe Burrow. Dalton is a more mobile quarterback than people think and just good enough to challenge Trubisky without immediately demanding the No. 1 job.
Dalton started 13 games for the Bengals in 2019, leading the team to a 2-11 record in the process. He threw for 3,494 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. His touchdown rate (3-percent) and yards per attempts (6.6) were both career worsts, while his 59.5-percent completion rate was his lowest since his rookie season.
He will turn 33 years old midway through next season.