Andy Dalton lost his starting job with the Cincinnati Bengals, but the longtime veteran could have another one coming after the season ends.
A new report from CBS Sports claims that the recently benched Bengals starter could be a top target for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are expected to move on from Jameis Winston after the season ends. Dalton made it clear he was unhappy after he lost his starting job in Cincinnati, saying he wished that the team had made the decision before the trade deadline so he had a chance to find another destination where he could be a starter. The new report from CBS Sports noted that Dalton would welcome a trade in the offseason, and pointed to the Buccaneers as a likely landing spot.
As the report noted, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians has been high on Dalton in the past, and the Buccaneers have built a strong offense with plenty of weapons around the quarterback position. Winston has struggled to make the best use of that during his tenure, especially this season, but a steady veteran like Dalton could be poised to succeed there.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Buccaneers are expected to move on from Winston when the season ends and his rookie contract expires, with some projecting that the team will target Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If that is the case, then Dalton could be even more valuable to the Buccaneers in the short term, as it would allow them to give Hurts — or any other rookie quarterback — the chance to ease into a starting job and the ability to learn behind a veteran in Dalton.
It’s not clear yet if the Bengals would look to shop Dalton, but CBS Sports cited several GMs who believed he could net a second-round pick in return. Part of that high return comes from his team-friendly contract, as he would cost just $17.5 million next season, putting him in the more affordable range of starting quarterbacks.
The report added that Dalton, if available, would be more attractive to teams looking for a starting quarterback than the others on the market.
“He has been healthy, is well liked around the league, and evaluators I spoke to believe he would be far better positioned than other veteran quarterback options in 2020, like potential free agents Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco,” the report noted.