It took less than a week for quarterback Andy Dalton to go from a free agent to a new home in Texas. Earlier this week, Dalton was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after nine years with the team. He has never played a single snap for another team during his NFL career, but that is going to change now since the Dallas Cowboys have signed him to a one-year deal.
ESPN is reporting that Dalton, who was released by Cincinnati on Thursday, struck a deal with the Cowboys on a $3 million contract. With incentives and playing time stipulations built into it, the deal could be worth as much as $7 million.
Dalton lives in Dallas, even though he’s played for the Bengals since 2011. The quarterback went to TCU for his collegiate career, and his family has remained in Texas throughout his professional career.
Dalton became expendable after the Bengals selected LSU’s Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft. Dalton, a former second-round draft pick, had one year remaining on his contract with the Bengals, and he was going to earn $17.7 million before being released.
Now, he’ll battle for the backup spot behind Dak Prescott in Dallas.
Many reports thought that Dalton might have landed with the New England Patriots or Jacksonville Jaguars.
Dalton chose to stay close to home in Texas and not move his family around during a difficult time. The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of fear and uncertainty around the world, but the NFL is planning to start the regular season on time in September.
Before joining the Cowboys on Saturday, Dalton was a bit critical of his former team as they let him go two months after free agency began. The official website of the Cincinnati Bengals spoke with Dalton, who said that his late release offered fewer opportunities.
“This year, there were a good amount of quarterbacks that were available. I think it would have worked out differently if I had been a free agent when the new league year started. I was still under contract, and that hurt me.”
Dalton has the most experience of any quarterback on the Cowboys roster. Prescott is entering his fifth year, while Cooper Rush is in his fourth, but Rush has only attempted three passes in those four years. Clayton Thorson and rookie Ben DiNucci round out the crop of signal-callers in Dallas.