It feels like all but a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to use the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. It feels equally likely that they will also inevitably trade away Andy Dalton, who had been the team’s franchise quarterback for the past nine seasons since selecting him in the second round in 2011.
And there should be a market for him. After all, the Baltimore Ravens were able to trade Joe Flacco last year for more than meager compensation, all things considered. There is no reason to believe that the Bengals should not be able to get a solid draft pick for Dalton, who has a manageable cap hit at $17.7 million and could be ripe for a modest extension that knocks that number down.
Reportedly, there are at least three teams so far known to be interested in Dalton, including the Chicago Bears, who are said to have already reached out to the organization about him. The Bears are still weighing whether or not Mitchell Trubisky is their long-term future after three seasons, and they want to bring in another quarterback to compete with him.
Two other teams named, according to Ian Rapoport, are the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. Both of them are teams who either recently lost their franchise quarterback or may do so this offseason.
For the Colts, of course, they dealt with the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck shortly before the season started, thrusting everything on Jacoby Brissett’s shoulders. While they remain open to Brissett as their starter, they feel they need to see more, and would like to have option.
As far as the Patriots go, this of course is a matter of Tom Brady, who seems to be toying with the idea of leaving New England after a couple of decades there. Not to mention six Super Bowls. The only thing he could possibly have left to prove as a football player is that he can win without the Patriots and Bill Belichick.
According to Pro Football Talk, Peter King said earlier this year that Dalton is the type of quarterback that Belichick would like to coach, and really if you think about it, the profile doesn’t seem too far off. Of course, as we saw last season, whoever they have under center is going to need better weapons to throw to.