Bears To Start Andy Dalton

On Monday, Bears GM Ryan Pace anointed Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback for 2021 (Twitter link via’s Jeff Dickerson). Dalton, who inked a one-year deal with Chicago earlier this year, is years removed from his best work. Still, Pace believes that Dalton can turn things around for the Bears, who have turned in two straight .500 seasons. 

Dalton’s one-year, $10MM deal was a solid indicator that he’d be starting, or at least considered for the starting role. Still, it wasn’t the splashiest choice for a team that watched Mitchell Trubisky decline over the last couple of years. For what it’s worth — the 49ers and Broncos were keenly interested in Dalton, so the Bears aren’t the only club that believes in the 33-year-old.

Both Pace and head coach Matt Nagy are on the hot seat, so there’s a lot riding on Dalton’s arm. For now, he’s slated to be backstopped by Nick Foles, though no one would be surprised to see him traded in the coming months.

Dalton enjoyed success during his run as the Bengals’ starter, earning three Pro Bowl nods and five straight postseason berths. But, after his tenure from 2011-19, the Bengals let him walk. After Dak Prescott‘s season-ending injury, he took over under center for the Cowboys. In eleven games and nine starts, the veteran finished with 14 touchdowns against eight interceptions while averaging 6.5 yards per attempt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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27 comments on “Bears To Start Andy Dalton

    • Technically correct

      Dalton probably could have been ok, but the fact that Pace is involved means it’s all doomed. Good thing it’s just a one year deal.

  1. bestno5

    I don’t understand the need to name a starting QB in April. Go to camp and see how it shakes out then name the starter

    • It’s the Bears. Nagy spent an insane amount of effort trying out kickers after the Cody Parkey thing, but with QB apparently he just shrugs his shoulders and goes with Dalton.

  2. amk1920

    Ryan Pace, the NFL GM who was in a rush to get Mitchell Trubisky and get Andy Dalton signed with better options out there. Truly remarkable how he has not been fired.

    • Ak185

      I agree with the Trubisky thing, but who is the better option than Dalton currently available?

      • amk1920

        Dalton is not good at all. How you could have been in such a rush to make him your starting QB is insane.

        • secretsatan

          He’s still better than any QB the Bears have ever had. Numbers don’t lie.

    • Very Barry

      What’s even funnier is that the Bears once again let Pace pick a QB. Bears just paid $10 million for Andy Dalton, who they could have signed for $5 million last year, but they told the world that Nick Foles was the answer. Now after Andy Dalton did nothing while QB for a loaded Dallas offense …. he gets anointed the starter over Foles. Despite the fact that Foles has a recent Super Bowl MVP while Dalton has never won a playoff game.

      • Ak185

        If your argument is that Nick Foles was leaps and bounds better than Dalton last year, you’re going to need a new argument. Neither lit the world on fire. And neither played on a team that was exactly stable. The real difference between Foles and Dalton is that they’ve tried one of those guys already.

        Dalton is who he is. But you don’t seem to realize the reality of the situation-which is that there is no better option to sign right now. There’s not. You need a starter. Dalton is a player with eight years’ starting experience and experience as a backup. The situation is not ideal, but you can’t snap your fingers and unmake all the mistakes of previous years. They have to deal with what they have. If you recognize a better option, give a name. If not, you’re complaining just to complain.

      • secretsatan

        Foles is a mediocre QB who filled in for Wentz admirably. Since then, he’s returned to being a mediocre QB. Trubisky outperformed Foles in every way last year. So that’s all you need to know.

  3. padam

    This is how one proceeds for job security? I’d think this is a step backwards from where they were.

  4. secretsatan

    Bears fans trying real hard to pretend Dalton’s career numbers thus far wouldn’t make him the most successful QB in Chicago’s franchise history lol

  5. jay13

    Andy Dalton is the starting QB because a rookie will be in there by week 6.

  6. capone14

    Why didn’t the bears go after Alex smith instead or better yet should have kept the biscuit .. The Bears make zero sense

  7. bts76

    Here’s the rub, even if Dalton succeeds. He’s on a one year deal with no team option to extend beyond tagging him… meaning the Bears are in the same spot next year and the can is only further down the road.

    The Bears must draft a QB and they must get him meaningful reps to build on for the future.

    Here’s the problem… they don’t have the assets to move into the top 10 to get even the 5th QB in this class. So maybe we get sold the Ian Book or Kellen Mond project in a day 2 or 3 pick.

    Pace put all of his chips on the table in acquiring Mack, 3 shots at it with him and that was the window. The only fix to this house is a total rebuild.


    • Ak185

      Or they are terrible and draft a QB next year. This may be a good move for a new regime that will inherit a top pick.

      Of course, I doubt that’s intentional, but that is another possibility. You raise a meaningful observation, I think.

      • Yipicya

        What QB is worth drafting at the top next year??? JT Daniels or Spencer Rattler?

        • Ak185

          Too early to tell now, but if it shakes out that way, that’s a question that the Bears will have to answer. Like I said, I doubt that they plan to be awful this year, but you never know what will happen until the season actually plays out. I don’t think Dalton will lose his job to rebuild under someone else this year (unless Chicago manages to get a surprise high level QB in the draft) as long as the Nagy-Pace regime is intact. They want to win, not rebuild, because they won’t make it through another.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    I never envisioned that it would be this hard to replace Jay Cutler.

  9. dalton2green22

    Dalton will be good. He is a gunslinger who takes chances. He will put up better numbers than the last one. As a bengals fan I liked him except on 3rd and 10 lol. It takes him a qtr to get warm though.

    Dalton will surprise you

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