Bengals Won’t Rule Out Keeping Andy Dalton

The Bengals aren’t in any rush to trade or cut Andy Dalton. And, interestingly, they haven’t ruled out keeping the veteran quarterback on the roster, according to head coach Zac Taylor (Twitter link via Elise Jesse of WLWT). 

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“Every option is on the table,” Taylor said. “We’re trying to put ourselves in the best position to make sure we’re prepared for next season and we have the best assets we can have. We think the world of Andy, obviously.”

It still seems unlikely that Dalton would remain with the Bengals on his current contract, which calls for a $17.5MM non-guaranteed base salary. If Dalton stayed in Cincy, he’d be playing second fiddle to a rookie quarterback (likely LSU standout Joe Burrow) and that’s a mighty expensive QB2. Meanwhile, Dalton has made it clear that he wants to be a starter in 2020.

Dalton was the Bengals’ starter from the jump, serving as their QB1 from 2011 up until he got the hook last year. In the midst of a lousy season for the entire organization, the Bengals benched him in favor of rookie Ryan Finley. Dalton got his gig back for the final stretch of the year, but he didn’t impress – he completed just 57.9% of his passing attempts with seven touchdowns against six interceptions.

On the cusp of his age-33 season, and coming off of his worst season, Dalton doesn’t hold much trade value at the moment. That’s the most likely explanation for Dalton remaining on the roster here in April. In all likelihood, the Bengals are waiting to see if other teams get desperate for QB help between now and the start of the season, which might allow them to recoup something of value for Dalton. And, if they’re unable to find a deal, they’ll probably cut him loose.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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