Andy Dalton

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 (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.

Andy Dalton To Be Fully Healthy For Offseason Program

The Bengals are heading into a transitional year. After a very disappointing 2018 season, the Bengals finally moved on from longtime coach Marvin Lewis. To replace him, they hired 35-year-old whizkid Zac Taylor away from the Rams.

Part of the reason 2018 was so disappointing was because of the season-ending injury quarterback Andy Dalton suffered. Fortunately for Cincinnati, Dalton is fully recovered from his thumb surgery and will be a full-go when OTA practices start, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s official site. There were murmurs earlier this offseason that the team could look to move on from Dalton and go younger at the position, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. That being said, owner Mike Brown made it clear the team wasn’t in a rush to extend him recently.

“I think it’s a good year for (Dalton) to show like he can, like we think he will. After he re-establishes himself we would want to get together with him and see if we can extend it. I think Andy is a good player and that he will rebound off last year. He was hurt. We lost so many other pieces. It fell apart, but if he’s healthy and we stay healthy enough, I have confidence in him,” Brown said, issuing a slightly less than ringing endorsement.

Dalton was having a decent enough season before going down, but unfortunately he hasn’t been anything better than decent the past few years. Even though the team has publicly proclaimed confidence in him, it still wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals draft a quarterback early later this month.

The Bengals’ offense completely collapsed once Jeff Driskel took over following the injury, which at least showed the Bengals’ struggles weren’t all about Dalton. He wasn’t the only high profile Bengal to have their season cut short with an injury, as star receiver A.J. Green was limited to just nine games. Green struggled with a toe injury all year and was hurt a lot in 2016 as well, but Brown said at the same time he made his comments on Dalton that the team wanted to extend Green. Hobson writes that he expects the Bengals “to ease Green along” this offseason, whereas Dalton should be a full-go for practices.

If Dalton doesn’t make major strides under Taylor, it’s highly possible if not probable that the team will move on next offseason. One thing that’s helped him stick this far has been his reasonable contract. Dalton has two years left on his deal with a total of $33.5MM owed to him. It’s a pivotal year for Dalton, and the fact that he’ll be fully healthy to begin picking up the new system is a very positive development.

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Bengals Open To A.J. Green Extension?

The Bengals sound open to an extension for wide receiver A.J. Green, as Fletcher Page of The Enquirer writes. However, that’s not the case for quarterback Andy Dalton

Oh, I think he’s a proven commodity, isn’t he?,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said. “The price range for him will be something we can figure out, it will come together. It’s true with anyone, if they suddenly get an reduces them. Well that changes the equation, but I never plan on that happening. I like to think that won’t happen. If A.J. is healthy, he’s as good a receiver as anybody in the league.”

Health, of course, was an issue for Green last year. The perennial Pro Bowler saw his season end in early December, marking the second time in three years that his season ended on IR. Still, Green finished out with 46 catches for 694 yards and six touchdowns in nine games, numbers that put him on pace for his usually strong output across a 16-game season.

Green has one year left on the four-year, $60MM extension he inked with the Bengals in 2015. Since then, he’s watched many other receivers leapfrog him in salary. When it comes to yearly salary, seven WRs rank ahead of Green: Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins, and Jarvis Landry all earn more than Green’s $15MM/year average.

Meanwhile, a new deal for Dalton sounds unlikely to happen anytime soon.

I think it’s a good year for (Dalton) to show like he can, like we think he will. After he re-establishes himself we would want to get together with him and see if we can extend it,” Brown said when asked about Dalton, who has two years to go on his deal. “I think Andy is a good player and that he will rebound off last year. He was hurt. We lost so many other pieces. It fell apart, but if he’s healthy and we stay healthy enough, I have confidence in him.

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AFC North Notes: Brown, Steelers, Ravens, Tyrod Taylor, Bengals, Dalton, Browns

As we await a resolution to the ongoing Antonio Brown saga with the Steelers, we have a new interesting piece today. Jeremy Fowler of conducted interviews with “nearly 20 former or current teammates of Brown”, to help figure out what went wrong between Brown and the team. While most that Fowler spoke with seem to acknowledge he’s unlikely to return to Pittsburgh, many spoke up in favor of Brown and said he’s being cast in an unfair light by the media.

Fowler writes that Brown “was — and in many ways still is — beloved in the Steelers’ locker room”, and that the situation is more complex and nuanced than it may appear. Many of Brown’s teammates have publicly lobbied for him to stay, and if the recent rumor is true that the Steelers aren’t getting the kind of trade offers they were hoping for, perhaps they do find a way to make it work after all. For what it’s worth, Steelers owner Art Rooney did adopt a slightly more conciliatory tone in his most recent statements to the press.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Last week a reporter mentioned Tyrod Taylor as a possible target of the Ravens to be Lamar Jackson‘s backup next season, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh added some fuel to that fire. Harbaugh said today that he’d like to add two quarterbacks behind Jackson this offseason, ideally with a similar playing style, and the recently extended coach brought up Robert Griffin III and Taylor on his own, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). Griffin served as the number three this past year, and said recently he loved his time in Baltimore, so it seems likely he’ll be re-signed.
  • The Bengals are riding with Andy Dalton, for now. Cincinnati’s director of player personnel Duke Tobin spoke recently to reporters and while he expressed some confidence in Dalton, he also left the door open for the team to draft a future replacement, according to Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Dalton has been in that gray area second tier of quarterbacks for a while now, and it’s been speculated that the Bengals could look to move on this offseason with Marvin Lewis finally out the door. Presumptive coach Zac Taylor can’t even join the team until his Rams play in the Super Bowl, and he’ll obviously have a large say in determining Dalton’s fate. Dalton seems safe for 2019, but as Page notes, the team can get out from his contract with no dead money at any time.
  • If you haven’t already read Seth Wickersham of‘s piece on the Browns, you need to now. Wickersham details a shocking level of dysfunction within the organization over the past handful of years since Jimmy Haslam bought the team, and it includes some bombshell details. Among other things, Haslam overruled the entire front office who wanted to hire current Bills coach Sean McDermott in favor of hiring Hue Jackson, and insisted the team take Johnny Manziel over Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft because he didn’t like Bridgewater’s handshake. The article does leave off on a hopeful note, as new GM John Dorsey has been able to ward off most of Haslam’s meddling and cut him out of things, but it will be very interesting to see if Haslam again inserts himself into the process in the crucial coming months.

Latest On Andy Dalton, Marvin Lewis

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, now in his 16th year at the helm, appeared all but gone from Cincinnati at the end of last season. It was reported last December that Lewis was expected to leave the team to pursue opportunities elsewhere, which included another head coaching job or perhaps a front office role. However, Lewis and the Bengals surprisingly reversed course, and the two sides came to terms on a two-year extension back in January.

However, Ian Rapoport of reports that the two-year extension was actually a one-year pact with a team option for 2019, so the club can move on from Lewis without penalty at the end of the season if it so chooses. Which means, as Rapoport notes, that Lewis’ future as the club’s head coach is once again in doubt.

Lewis has guided the Bengals to a 130-118-3 mark during his tenure, and his club has qualified for the playoffs seven times (including five straight seasons from 2011-15). But Cincinnati is 0-7 in playoff games under Lewis’ watch, and the team now appears destined to miss the postseason for the third consecutive year.

One of the reasons for the Bengals’ disappointing 2018 campaign is injuries. Lewis’ club has been ravaged by the injury bug — the Bengals have put more players on IR in 2018 than they did the last three years combined — and a number of key players who have avoided IR have nonetheless been sidelined for multiple games. So, as Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes, owner Mike Brown will have to think about how much different the season would have been if the Bengals had not been hit so hard by injuries and determine Lewis’ fate based on that. We learned last week that current special assistant Hue Jackson could succeed Lewis as the Bengals’ head coach, and Rapoport confirms that report. RapSheet also suggests that Lewis could transition to a front office role with Cincinnati.

As for quarterback Andy Dalton — who is now among those Bengals on IR — Rapoport says that the Red Rifle will be back with the team in 2019. Dehner writes in a separate piece that Dalton, who did have surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, is expected to make a full recovery before the team’s offseason program begins next year. Dalton believes he has the full support of the team’s decision-makers, and Dehner agrees that no one is expecting the Bengals to part ways with the 31-year-old signal-caller (even though they could do so without taking on any dead money).

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Bengals Place Andy Dalton On IR

Andy Dalton‘s thumb injury will end his season. The Bengals will place their starting quarterback on IR, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (on Twitter).

Cincinnati also claimed Tom Savage off waivers from the 49ers, per Dehner (on Twitter). Jeff Driskel, who took his first NFL snaps this season, will be in line to start the rest of the way for Cincinnati. This may deal a massive blow to the Bengals’ fleeting playoff hopes.

Torn thumb ligaments will cause Dalton to venture to IR, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter). It’s not known if a surgery is scheduled, but that would be logical given the IR announcement. This malady forced Dalton out of the Bengals’ Week 12 loss, but it was initially reported the eighth-year quarterback did not suffer a break. Still, he will head to IR for the first time in his career.

Dalton has missed just three games in his career — all in 2015, which crushed probably the best Bengals team in the past 30 years — and the Bengals did not invest much in a backup quarterback this offseason. A.J. McCarron departed via free agency, but the Bengals retained Driskel and essentially promoted him to QB2.

The Bengals started out 4-1 but have lost five of their past six games. Dalton did not finish losses against the Saints and Browns, the former because of the nature of the game. He was enjoying a better season than he produced in 2017, throwing 21 touchdown passes and holding a 64.6 Total QBR — nearly 20 points better than his 2017 mark.

Dalton had cooled off, though, since Cincy’s hot start, failing to eclipse 160 passing yards in three of his past five starts — the most recent such instance because of his injury. A.J. Green‘s absence had plenty to do with this, but while the Bengals’ top player may be ready to return in Week 13 against the Broncos, Driskel (36 career pass attempts) will be throwing him passes.

Driskel began his college career at Florida before transferring to Louisiana Tech. He landed with the 49ers in 2016 as a UDFA.

Savage spent parts of this season with the 49ers but was jettisoned multiple times, the most recent cut coming Saturday. He was the Texans’ opening day starter in 2017, but Deshaun Watson quickly replaced him. After Watson’s injury, Savage returned. He finished last season with 1,412 passing yards, five touchdown throws and six INTs.

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AFC Rumors: Dalton, Gordon, Berry

It’s been a rough November for the Bengals, who have tumbled off the No. 6 seed line on “If the season ended today” graphics. Now, the 5-6 team may be facing the prospect of playing its first game without Andy Dalton in three years. The longtime Cincinnati starter left Sunday’s loss to the Browns early because of a thumb injury, but Ian Rapoport of tweets initial tests did not reveal a break. Dalton will undergo further examination, but it appears the eighth-year starter avoided serious injury. His status for Week 13 is uncertain, however. The Bengals did not invest much resources in at backup quarterback this year, going with Jeff Driskel after the departure of A.J. McCarron. A former UDFA, Driskel entered today’s game having thrown seven career passes — all this season. He would be in line to face the Broncos next week if Dalton can’t go.

Here’s the latest from the AFC:

  • Melvin Gordon might not be as fortunate. The Chargers‘ explosive starter may see his All-Pro bid put on hold because of a knee injury he sustained Sunday. Gordon left the Bolts’ win over the Cardinals because of an MCL malady, Eric Williams of reports (on Twitter). Gordon will undergo additional evaluation on Monday, but Williams notes there’s a real possibility the top-tier running back won’t be able to go next week against the Steelers. An MCL tear would put the rest of Gordon’s regular season in jeopardy. Gordon was battling a hamstring injury this week but suited up and scored twice before leaving the game.
  • The Chiefs have waited for months for Eric Berry to show progress, and it looks to finally be happening. After a report previously indicated the three-time All-Pro safety was close to returning to practice for the first time in three-plus months, Rapoport tweets the Chiefs indeed expect Berry to practice this week. Berry’s dealing with Haglund’s deformity, a heel ailment, and hasn’t practiced since training camp. Since signing his $13MM-per-year extension, Berry’s played in just one game. But the Chiefs did not place him on IR this season and clearly believe a return could well happen soon.
  • Baltimore is 2-0 in Lamar Jackson‘s starts and may not be ready to return to Joe Flacco when he’s healthy again.