Before he was released earlier this week, there was some optimism that Andy Dalton would land in Chicago. As Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic writes, the Bengals “were very close” to trading the veteran quarterback to the Bears back in March, and Dalton himself believed that’d be his ultimate landing spot.
Instead, Chicago shifted focus to Nick Foles, sending a fourth-rounder to the Jaguars for the former Super Bowl MVP. When the Bengals/Bears trade broke down, Cincy’s front office quickly discovered that they didn’t have any trade options for Dalton. As Dehner writes, two potential suitors, the Colts and Buccaneers, solved their quarterback issues via free agency, and rival front offices soon realized that the Bengals weren’t going to retain Dalton’s pricey cap hit.
Dalton believes the waiting game ended up hurting his chances of finding an ideal landing spot.
“There were several different factors,” Dalton told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “This year there were a good amount of quarterbacks that were available. I think it would have worked out differently if I had been a free agent when the new league year started. I was still under contact and that hurt me. I’m sure teams knew they were going to take a quarterback No. 1 and they would release me and there was no reason to rush into anything.”
With the Bengals zeroing in on LSU’s Joe Burrow with the first-overall pick, Dalton recently approached president Mike Brown, director of player personnel Duke Tobin, and head coach Zac Taylor for clarity. Ultimately, the organization decided to simply release the 32-year-old.
While Dalton opines that the waiting game impacted his ability to find a new team, it sounds like he may still have some options. We heard earlier this week that the Jaguars and Patriots could be among the teams interested in the veteran quarterback.
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