This may shock, disturb, or even sicken you, but this is the fact: Andy Dalton has taken the Cincinnati Bengals into the postseason more than any other quarterback has in the franchise’s history. The Bengals qualified for the playoffs in each of his first five years between 2011 and 2015, though they never made it past the Wildcard Round.
The Bengals qualified for postseason play during Carson Palmer’s time twice. Boomer Esiason also reached the playoffs two times during his stay in Cincinnati. Ken Anderson spent his entire 16-year career with the team, and reached the playoffs four times. Both he and Esiason reached but lost the Super Bowl. Like Dalton, Palmer never reached the Divisional Round.
As the team now turns its sights on the future, with the likely drafting of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, there is still the past to take care of, and that will include trading Dalton the way the Baltimore Ravens traded Joe Flacco last offseason.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Bengals at least plan on doing Dalton the courtesy of working directly with the nine-year veteran quarterback to facilitate a trade, which they intend to do “when the time is right”.
Presumably, that time will come some time before the 2020 NFL Draft, since I would imagine that they would like to recoup some draft pick in exchange for the former Pro Bowl quarterback in time to use it this year. This is head coach Zac Taylor’s second draft, and his first wasn’t very successful, with his top pick spending the year on injured reserve.
Over the course of his career, Dalton has completed 2757 of 4449 pass attempts, a 62 percent accuracy, for 31594 yards. He has thrown for 204 touchdowns to 118 interceptions and has a career passer rating of 87.5 while averaging 7.1 yards per pass attempt. He has an overall 70-61-2 record as a starter.
Arguably the high point in his career came in 2015, which ended prematurely thanks to a broken thumb provided by Stephon Tuitt on the lone interception of his career. That year, he completed 66.1 percent of his passes while averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt, throwing 25 touchdowns to seven interceptions and posting a 10-2 record before he was injured in that game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the opening drive as I recall, which ended up as a loss.
Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler, and certainly some team will look at him as a bridge starter who will likely also try to draft a quarterback high, at least after the first round. That is what the Denver Broncos did last year with Flacco, taking Drew Lock in the second round. Hopefully he gets a better offensive line.