The Andy Dalton era is officially over in Cincinnati. Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bengals are releasing their long time quarterback.
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to many, after Cincinnati selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with this first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, it all but spelled the end for Dalton and the Bengals.
The Bengals selected Dalton in the second round of the 2011 Draft where he immediately assumed the starting quarterback role for Cincinciatti. There was trouble in the air during the 2019 season when Bengals head coach Zac Taylor elected to bench Dalton for some of the season, before giving him his job back near the end of the year. Dalton still finished the 2019 season with respectable numbers, throwing for 3,949 yards and 16 touchdowns. His 14 interceptions was a problem, but the team also fielded a very weak offensive group.
It’s been a common thought over the last year that Dalton’s days with the Bengals were coming to an end. According to rumors, the Bengals attempted to trade Dalton before last year’s trade deadline, but the Bengals we’re not able to find a trade partner.
Dalton has been linked to the New England Patriots for quite sometime now, and his release has stirred up those thoughts again.
“It adds another layer of intrigue to the free-agency quarterback market, particularly as it pertains to the Patriots”, wrote Justin Terranova of the New York Post. “New England has been oddly content with its quarterback situation — and a depth chart topped by second-year QB Jarrett Stidham — since Tom Brady left the franchise after two decades for a two-year, $50 million deal with the Buccaneers.”
By releasing Dalton, Schefter is reporting that the Bengals will save $17.7 million on their salary cap. Dalton is 32-years-old and will be hitting free agency for the first time in his career.
Dalton joins Cam Newton as two former starting quarterbacks looking for a job, Newton was released by the Carolina Panthers earlier in the offseason.