Andy Dalton is set to become a free agent after spending the last nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dalton’s fate was ultimately sealed when the Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow is coming off the greatest season in college football history.
Cincinnati selected Dalton in the second round of the 2011 draft out of TCU. In those seasons, he’s only made the playoffs four times and has lost in all of those four playoff games. Cincinnati has missed out on the playoffs in the last four seasons.
Dalton was at the helm when the team was winning division titles. In 2013, Cincinnati won its first division title since 2009.
Here are at least three teams who could be interested in the veteran quarterback.
1). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots would give Dalton a good chance to win some meaningful football games. He would only have to beat out a career backup in Brian Hoyer and second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Dalton has the veteran experience on his side to beat out both players. If the Patriots are insistent on passing on Cam Newton, it would make sense for New England to go after Dalton.
2). PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The Steelers could be seen as a wildcard team in the mix for Dalton. The former TCU star doesn’t want to be a mentor to a rookie and possibly serving as the veteran backup to Ben Roethlisberger might be the play.
Roethlisberger missed most of the season due to an elbow injury and was forced to go with a mix of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges for the remainder of 2019. Having someone steady and reliable like Dalton may have put Pittsburgh into the playoffs. Better yet for Dalton, he would only have to move a few miles east to get acclimated.
3). JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Dalton to the Jaguars began to gain traction among NFL insiders and painted as even more logical than him signing with the Patriots. One of the reasons included Jay Gruden now serving as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator. Gruden was the offensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2011 to 2013.
Jacksonville’s quarterback situation is also uncertain. The team has thrust its trust into Gardner Minshew II and traded Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears. Minshew will be entering his second season with the team. Joshua Dobbs is listed as his backup and the team selected Jake Luton in the draft.