Andy Dalton

Latest On Patriots’ QB Situation

Not much has transpired on the Patriots side of the Tom Brady free agency rumor cycle, but a negotiation timetable has surfaced. The Pats are not expected to discuss a new deal for Brady for multiple weeks, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston notes, adding that this likely corresponds with the Combine.

The annual scouting showcase/tampering bonanza will give the parties a better indication as to what the future Hall of Famer’s market looks like. The Raiders and Chargers have been the teams most linked to Brady, with the Titans perhaps in play as well. New England, however, is not especially concerned with other teams’ pitches to Brady, per Curran. Their primary objective will be attempting to assemble a better skill-position corps to entice Brady, it appears.

A key part of the Pats’ agenda will be upgrading at tight end after essentially punting on a Rob Gronkowski replacement last year. Acquiring pass-catching help will be a primary Pats goal, Curran notes, adding that Brady is less concerned with other teams’ financial pitches than he is with their roster talent. Austin Hooper, Eric Ebron and Hunter Henry are the top young tight ends available. Though, Henry looms as a possible Chargers tag candidate — which would also factor into the Bolts’ prospective Brady pitch.

As for the scenario where Brady does defect to another team: some around the league view New England as a fit for Andy Dalton, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). The Dalton speculation has surfaced at times this offseason, with NBC Sports’ Peter King viewing a post-Brady partnership between the 32-year-old quarterback and the Patriots as one that would potentially be mutually beneficial.

Dalton is entering his contract year (on a $17.5MM salary), and the Bengals are set to work with their nine-year starter on a trade. Should a Brady departure put this scenario into play, the Pats do not have a second-round pick but may hold three third-rounders because of Trey Flowers‘ and Trent Brown‘s departures in free agency. These late-Day 2 picks could also come in handy for potential trades for tight end or wideout upgrades.

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Bengals Willing To Work With Andy Dalton On Trade

Earlier this offseason, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin left all options on the table when addressing Andy Dalton‘s future. Now, the wheels are in motion for the expected scenario to play out. The Bengals informed their longtime quarterback that they’re willing to work with him in order to facilitate a trade, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

The Bengals are widely expected to take LSU’s Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick. Dalton, in theory, could return as a bridge to Burrow (or another QB), but the veteran has made it known that he wants to start in 2020.

Dalton, a second-round pick in 2011, has been the Bengals’ starter since the get-go. But, in the midst of a dreadful 2019 for the entire team, he was benched in favor of rookie Ryan Finley. Dalton got the ball back in Week 13, but he didn’t do much to change anyone’s mind. In the final four games of the season, Dalton completed just 57.9% of his throws with seven touchdowns that were tarnished by six interceptions.

For what it’s worth, Dalton was under center for the Bengals’ only two victories of the season – a 22-6 win over the Jekyll-and-Hyde Jets and W over the Browns (sans Myles Garrett) in the finale.

Dalton, 33 in October, has thrown for a franchise record 204 touchdowns. He’s also three full seasons removed from his best work. In 2016, he captured his third career Pro Bowl nomination with a 64.7% completion rate and 4,206 passing yards. Even then, his 18 passing touchdowns were nothing to write home about and the Bengals only managed a 6-9-1 record on the year.

Still, Dalton is an important part of the franchise’s history. He’s one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons, but when Marvin Lewis was finally fired after last year it signaled the beginning of the end. As for where the TCU product might land, that’s very much up in the air. There are a number of teams that could be interested on paper, but there are also going to be a ton of veteran quarterbacks looking for new homes. This should be one of the most active quarterback carousels in recent memory, and it’s possible Dalton is dealt sometime after the dust settles between free agency and the draft.

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Bengals Personnel Director On Green, Dalton, Mixon

Bengals receiver A.J. Green missed the entire 2019 campaign due to an ankle injury, and the last time he suited up for a game was in Week 13 of the 2018 regular season. Given his age (he will be 32 by the time the 2020 regular gets underway) and recent injury history, there has been plenty of speculation that the rebuilding Cincinnati outfit might move on from its franchise icon this offseason.

But that’s not necessarily the case. On Wednesday, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin told reporters, including Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he plans on having Green back in 2020 (Twitter link). Tobin said “all options are on the table,” which presumably means that the franchise tag and a multiyear pact are in play. Green has previously indicated that he is opposed to the franchise tag, though he did concede that he would not engage in a season-long holdout if he is hit with the tag.

The tag value for wideouts checks in at a whopping $18.5MM, a lot of coin for an aging player who has missed 23 of his team’s last 24 games. A long-term deal would also be quite costly, because with a fairly light free agent receiver class — which gets a lot lighter if Amari Cooper and Emmanuel Sanders re-up with their current teams — Green would likely still command top-dollar on the open market.

On the other hand, a receiver of Green’s caliber would be a major boon to the team’s offense, especially if the Bengals draft Joe Burrow and put him under center right away. The two sides were recently said to be far apart on contract talks, so this is shaping up to be one of this offseason’s most prominent storylines.

Tobin also touched on quarterback Andy Dalton and running back Joe Mixon. The consensus seems to be that the Bengals will look to trade Dalton or cut him if the right deal comes along, but there is also a possibility that he returns as a bridge to Burrow, as Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com writes. As with Green, Tobin said he has not ruled out any options when it comes to Dalton.

Mixon, meanwhile, is eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason, and Tobin plans to explore that possibility. Despite being one of the few dangerous skill position players on the team in 2019, Mixon went over 1,100 yards rushing for the second straight season, and he certainly looks the part of a long-term feature back.

Tobin suggested that the Bengals may be more active in the free agent market than they historically have been, but if they are earmarking a significant amount of money for Mixon and Green, they may not be able to spend as freely as they might like. But they should have enough cap space to make a few key signings, especially if they part ways with Dalton.

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Extra Points: Brady, Dalton, Dolphins, Lions

Tom Brady news figures to be a rather common occurrence in this unusual offseason for the 20-year Patriots passer. Set for free agency for the first time, Brady is not expected to re-sign with the Patriots before free agency opens. The Chargers have surfaced again, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting that Brady will have the Bolts atop his list — if, in fact, he decides to leave New England. This is not the first Brady-Chargers link, but JLC adds that the 42-year-old quarterback would have a short list if he did legitimately decide to test free agency. The Chargers’ Los Angeles headquarters, which have not been especially beneficial to the franchise thus far, would appeal to Brady. The future Hall of Famer holds offseason workouts at USC and has previously lived in L.A. The Chargers are set to move into their new stadium, along with the Rams. Brady would certainly help on this front, with the team struggling to generate attention in its new market.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Andy Dalton and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor remain close, and JLC can envision this being a factor in how the quarterback dominoes fall during what could be a complex offseason at sports’ marquee position. Dalton “loved” playing for Lazor during his time as Bengals QBs coach and OC, per JLC. Although the Bears have committed to starting Mitchell Trubisky next season, he certainly has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot and could be pushed like 2015 No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota was this season.
  • Patriots free agents Devin McCourty, Joe Thuney and Kyle Van Noy will likely have many suitors. One is expected to be the Dolphins, with Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writing that Brian Flores holds McCourty in high regard and that the team will pursue Thuney and Van Noy. All three are unrestricted free agents-to-be. Van Noy and McCourty played under Flores during his time as de facto Patriots defensive coordinator (2018), linebackers coach (2016-17) and safeties coach (2012-15). Van Noy and Thuney may price themselves out of New England.
  • Raekwon McMillan‘s 2019 season also helped sell the Dolphins on his long-term stock, Jackson adds. The Dolphins are interested in keeping the linebacker around long-term. McMillan rated as an upper-echelon linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, this season and became extension-eligible at season’s end. Under the Flores-Chris Grier setup, the Dolphins have already extended a few holdovers from the previous regime.
  • Damon Harrison revealed at the regular season’s end he is considering retirement, and the Lions are still waiting. They will likely not know Snacks’ plans for at least another few weeks, per the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. Thanks to the one-year add-on the Lions gave him in August, Harrison is under contract through 2021.
  • The Lions are expected to promote defensive assistant Steve Gregory to secondary coach, Birkett adds. The Lions hired Gregory, who played under Matt Patricia in New England, in 2018. Detroit fired DBs coach Brian Stewart after the season.

Bengals’ Andy Dalton Aiming To Start In 2020

Andy Dalton isn’t sure where he’ll be in 2020, but wherever he winds up, he intends on starting. Dalton also acknowledges that Sunday’s game could be the final game with the Bengals, but he says it won’t be the final game of his career (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby). 

[RELATED: Andy Dalton Eager To Be Traded In 2020]

When asked if he wants to be a starter next year, Dalton replied, “Yes, absolutely.” It remains to be seen whether he’ll be given that chance – there figure to be plenty of QB-needy teams this offseason, but Dalton’s stock is at an all-time low after a season in which he temporarily lost the starting gig to rookie Ryan Finley.

Dalton was immediately installed as the Bengals’ starter after being drafted in 2011 and guided the team to multiple playoff berths. But, after an 0-8 start this year, he was benched. A few weeks later, he regained the starting job, but he hasn’t fared much better.

With one game to go, Dalton has a sub-60% completion percentage with just 15 touchdowns against a staggering 13 interceptions. On the plus side – he led the Bengals to their lone win this year against the Jets in Week 13 and threw for four TDs (with zero INTs) against the Dolphins on Sunday.

The Bengals can move on from Dalton after this season without any dead money, so he’s unlikely to return to Cincinnati for a tenth year. It’s hard to see Dalton landing a guaranteed No. 1 QB post anywhere, but he could easily land a one-year deal with a low base salary and lots of performance-based incentives.

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Bengals To Reinstall Andy Dalton As Starter

Andy Dalton will return to the Bengals’ starting lineup in Week 13. Benched for rookie Ryan Finley, the ninth-year starter will be back taking the snaps against the Jets, Zac Taylor announced.

We just want a win, and that veteran presence he has will certainly be helpful,” Taylor said Monday, adding that he expects the 32-year-old veteran to be the Bengals’ starter the rest of the way, via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic (on Twitter).

This does mark an interesting direction change for the Bengals, who were 0-8 with Dalton. They have, however, lost their most recent three games under Finley. A fourth-round pick, Finley was given three starts. He will return to the bench with a 47.1% completion rate, with 5.4 yards per attempt. Sunday will be Dalton’s 129th career start.

Dalton has completed 60.4 percent of his passes and is averaging 6.7 yards per attempt. The three-time Pro Bowler would seemingly be a trade candidate next year or profile as a player who would groom a 2020 rookie quarterback. His reinsertion into Cincinnati’s lineup certainly seems like a move being made to avoid the third 0-16 season in NFL history. This is the Bengals’ first 0-11 start in their 52-season history. They were previously 0-10 in 1993. This Bengals edition is coming off a home loss to a Steelers team that turned to Devlin Hodges at quarterback.

If the Bengals have seen what they needed to see from Finley, this further points to the team using its No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback. As of now, LSU’s Joe Burrow looks like the clubhouse leader to be the first passer drafted. But a lot can change between now and April. The Bengals have not used a first-round pick on a quarterback since 2003, when they chose Carson Palmer. Dalton was a 2011 second-round pick.

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Andy Dalton Eager To Be Traded In 2020

The fact that the Bengals decided to bench quarterback Andy Dalton right before last Tuesday’s trade deadline did not give Dalton’s agent enough time to find a trade partner, so the Red Rifle will remain with Cincinnati through the 2019 campaign and will serve as rookie Ryan Finley‘s clipboard holder.

Dalton expressed his disappointment with the team’s decision to demote him, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the 32-year-old signal-caller is eager to be traded this offseason. 2020 is the last year of Dalton’s current contract — and Cincinnati can cut him without incurring any dead money penalties — but his $17.5MM salary next year is relatively palatable, and a number of QB-needy clubs could be interested in sending some draft capital to the Bengals to secure Dalton’s services.

Several GMs that La Canfora spoke with named the Buccaneers as a potential landing spot for Dalton. Indeed, Tampa Bay has plenty of talent at wide receiver and tight end and a strong enough O-line, and Dalton has proven that he can be successful with a solid grouping of talent around him. Plus, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is not likely going to want to rebuild with a rookie QB, and trading for Dalton is looking like a better option than re-signing Jameis Winston at the moment.

The Titans and Bears may also be interested in Dalton, and depending on what Tom Brady and Philip Rivers decide to do, the Patriots and Chargers could end up as potential suitors as well. La Canfora’s sources say the Bengals should be able to net a 2020 second-round pick in exchange for their 2011 second-rounder.

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Bengals’ Andy Dalton: My Agent Tried To Explore Trades

On Tuesday, just before the trade deadline, the Bengals announced that they’re benching Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley. Afterwards, Dalton’s agent tried to explore trade possibilities, the quarterback says (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.). However, the timing of the decision made that impossible. 

[RELATED: Bengals Bench Andy Dalton]

I don’t agree with the decision but I’m going do everything I can to help the team,” Dalton said, before adding that he just wants the opportunity to play somewhere.

Unless things change between now and the end of the season, it seems like the Bengals and Dalton are headed for divorce. His six-year, $96MM extension technically runs through the end of 2020, but the Bengals can cut bait on that deal with no cap penalties after the season.

Dalton, the 35th overall pick of the 2011 draft, made three Pro Bowls with the team. He also led the Bengals to five straight playoff appearances, though he never won a postseason game.

Speaking of timing – Dalton turned 32 on Tuesday, so this probably wasn’t the birthday gift he had in mind.

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Bengals Bench Andy Dalton, Will Start Ryan Finley

The Andy Dalton era in Cincinnati appears to be coming to an end. The Bengals are sending Dalton to the bench following their bye week, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Pelissero notes that rookie Ryan Finley is expected to start. The Bengals sit at 0-8 so the decision isn’t shocking, but it’s still monumental. Dalton was drafted by the Bengals back in 2011, and immediately became their starter. He’s been under center for the team for the past 8.5 seasons, and has had a lot of success in Cincy. The Bengals can move on from Dalton after this season without any dead cap charge, so this is probably it unless he’s reinserted before the end of this season.

There’s also a small chance Dalton could be traded in the next few hours now that he’s no longer the starter. It still seems unlikely, but it’s at least worth pondering. Zac Taylor’s first year as head coach has gotten off to a disastrous start, and the team is entering a full-blown rebuild. The Bengals are making the move so they can get a good look at Finley to help determine whether or not they need to draft a quarterback early next April, a source told Albert Breer of SI.com (Twitter link). Obviously, the Bengals are on track for a high draft pick.

Cincinnati took Finley in the fourth-round of this past draft. An N.C. State product, Finley was a three-year starter for the Wolfpack. Finley had a weird college career that included multiple redshirts and a transfer, so he’s pretty old for a rookie. He started college in 2013, and will turn 25 in December. His first career NFL start will come following the team’s bye against the Ravens in Week 10.

The 35th overall pick of the 2011 draft, Dalton made three Pro Bowls with the team. At one point under Marvin Lewis he led the Bengals to five straight playoff appearances, although he never was able to win a postseason game. Word of the move came on Dalton’s birthday. Not the gift he was looking for.

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Bengals Could Draft Quarterback Early?

The Bengals have a big offseason ahead of them. It’s the first year of the Zac Taylor era after the team finally fired Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons. Cincinnati has Andy Dalton at quarterback, but they might not be sold on him as the longterm answer. As such, the Bengals could very realistically use their first round pick on a quarterback, according to a panel on NFL Network (video Twitter link).

Bengals owner Mike Brown recently said the team wasn’t in any rush to extend Dalton and indicated the TCU product would need to prove himself this season, so this isn’t too surprising. Last week we heard that Dalton, who ended last year on injured reserve after undergoing thumb surgery, would be fully healthy for the offseason program.

On the panel, Mike Garafolo said he talked to other teams picking near the Bengals, and stated “other teams are watching them saying ‘that is a potential landing spot for a quarterback.'” Garafolo points out that quarterback needy teams like the Dolphins and Redskins pick after the Bengals, and there’s a good chance they’ll need to jump ahead of Cincinnati if they want a signal-caller.

One interesting nugget that could bode well for Dalton is that the only top quarterback the Bengals have brought into their building for a visit is N.C. State’s Ryan Finley, according to Ian Rapoport. Finley “has a shot at being a second rounder,” Rapoport says, but isn’t a realistic option for the Bengals with the 11th overall pick. The Bengals could draft Finley sometime on Day 2 and let him be the backup initially without having a quarterback controversy on their hands.

That being said, that doesn’t mean the Bengals won’t draft a passer who they haven’t hosted on an official visit. Rapsheet notes that the team “spent some time” with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins around his pro day, and he could be a target if he slips to them. Thanks to having five sixth round picks, the Bengals own 11 picks overall in the upcoming draft, and they will be one of the more interesting teams to monitor in Nashville.