Andy Dalton has led the Cincinnati Bengals for nine seasons, serving as the team’s franchise quarterback and stabilizing presence on the field. Now with the Bengals set to usher in a new era at quarterback, Cincinnati could reportedly be preparing itself to cut bait with their veteran leader for nearly a decade.
The Bengals have shopped Dalton this offseason on the trade market, attempting to find a home for the three-time Pro Bowl selection. While there was initial speculation that Dalton could net Cincinnati a second-round pick, it’s reportedly now looking like the Bengals might have to cut him this offseason.
According to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr, Dalton’s $17.7 million cap hit for the 2020 season is a major deterrent for teams interested in the veteran quarterback and will likely prevent a trade. While the organization is considering all of its options, including keeping Dalton, they are tight on cap space and will need to sign their rookie class.
The Bengals are widely expected to take LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick. From that point, it will become Burrow’s team as he steps in as the new face of the franchise. Cincinnati would love to keep Dalton as a veteran presence to mentor Burrow. However, financially, it’s something they will unlikely be able to afford.
If Dalton is released during the summer, the 32-year-old would likely generate plenty of interest. He could be a viable candidate to start for teams like the Los Angeles Chargers or New England Patriots. If starting jobs aren’t available, Dalton could represent an excellent backup for teams like the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.
Either way, Dalton’s nine-year run with the Bengals is likely nearing its end. While the team never reached the heights it hoped for, Dalton’s nine years of steady play with more than 31,000 passing yards and 204 touchdowns is an excellent return from a second-round pick in 2011.