Andy Dalton

To say that longtime Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton was unhappy about being benched on his birthday would be an understatement.

Dalton learned of the news from head coach Zac Taylor mere hours before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.

According to the quarterback himself, Dalton was looking at the possibility of being traded before the deadline passed. He also disagrees with Taylor’s decision to bench him.

To be clear, it was not the greatest timing in the world. Dalton’s agent, Jeff Nalley, reached out to quarterback-needy teams. But with hours remaining until the deadline, it was almost impossible for the former Pro Bowler to be moved.

Dalton would have also acted as an upgrade for about a third of the teams around the league. Despite his overall struggles, the quarterback remains a viable back-end starter in the NFL.

Dalton, 32, leads the league in completions (204) and attempts (338). He’s also passed for 2,252 yards in eight games while throwing just nine touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.

The veteran is set to count $17.7 million against the cap in 2020, the last year of his current contract. We’re sure he’ll receive some off-season trade interest.

As for the Bengals, it makes sense to see what they have in rookie mid-round pick Ryan Finley. The team is a league-worst 0-8 on the season and in the very beginning stages of a rebuild. Dalton has no long-term future in Cincinnati.