Andy Dalton is leaving the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots could be his next stop. As ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted on Thursday, Dalton asked the Bengals for his release — which they granted — making him one of the most experienced quarterbacks on the open market and an attractive target for any team looking for a bridge to a quarterback of the future.
Bengals are releasing QB Andy Dalton, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2020
As the New York Post noted, the Patriots emerged as a potential landing spot for Dalton, as the team has no clear choice for quarterback after the departure of Tom Brady. The Patriots are currently moving forward with second-year signal caller Jarrett Stidham as the starter, but he threw only four passes as the backup last season. Veteran Brian Hoyer is behind Stidham on the depth chart, but many have looked for the Patriots to make another move for a veteran quarterback ahead of the 2020 season.
The Bengals had been trying to trade Dalton through the offseason, but found no takers for his $17.7 million salary, NJ Advance Media reported.
The report pegged Dalton as a logical choice for the Patriots, a steady hand who would be able to start in front of Stidham to allow him to continue developing. The former Bengal has been hardy throughout his career, starting at least 11 games every season since entering the league. He has 31,594 yards throughout his career, with 204 touchdowns and 118 interceptions. However, the Bengals benched him last season in favor of rookie Ryan Finley, who was not able to hold the job.
“The Patriots have taken a patient approach with the quarterback position this offseason. Perhaps, Dalton is the quarterback they’ve been waiting for,” the NJ Advance Media report noted.
“That said, if Bill Belichick decides to stick with what he already has, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will need to look for backup work elsewhere.”
Dalton reportedly did not want to sit behind No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow, who could be in line to start for the Bengals, depending on his performance in training camp and the preseason and the Bengals’ chosen direction for their franchise quarterback.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could be another potential landing spot for Dalton, as the team is still evaluating whether second-year Gardner Minshew can become the full-time starter. The team already has a connection with Dalton, as Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden worked with him as the Bengals offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2013.