Before the Cincinnati Bengals released Andy Dalton and allowed him to sign with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent, the team reportedly offered him to two organizations that were arguably in need of a proven quarterback. However, it appears that both the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t too keen on signing the veteran signal-caller despite his proven track record as a starter.
According to Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer, the Cowboys made a good decision when they signed Dalton to a one-year contract, as his presence could “keep the ship steady” in case starting quarterback Dak Prescott misses any time. Breer also cited various sources around the league who believe that the 32-year-old should be a solid acquisition as long as he’s teaming up with the “right talent,” but also offered some details on what happened when Dalton was still with the Bengals and apparently being shopped around to rival teams like the Patriots and Jaguars.
“Cincinnati shopped Dalton to both, and neither showed much interest,” Breer noted.
“And that—after his release detached him from the $17 million base that made him impossible for the Bengals to keep—neither wound up with him, despite both teams offering a clearer path to playing time, and despite Dallas only having to pay $3 million in base [salary] to get him, should say what you need to know about where they stand.”
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) May 3, 2020
As further broken down by NBC Sports Boston, the Patriots — who have less than $2 million in salary-cap space — likely were not able to match the Cowboys’ offer for Dalton, which would pay him $7 million for the 2020 season, with the aforementioned $3 million guaranteed. While the outlet wrote that the former Bengals starter could have served as a good insurance policy in case likely starter Jarrett Stidham isn’t ready for a bigger role, it was pointed out that the Patriots appear confident enough in the 2019 fourth-rounder at this point.
As for the Jaguars, the team had also been mentioned multiple times as a potential suitor for Dalton. Last month, reports suggested that Jacksonville might have been a good fit for the former Texas Christian University star, considering the youth and relative inexperience of second-year man Gardner Minshew, in addition to Nick Foles’ recent departure for the Chicago Bears.
As shown on his Pro Football Reference page, Dalton will be entering the 2020 NFL season with career stats that include 204 touchdown passes and 118 interceptions for 31,594 passing yards, a QB rating of 87.5, and a 70-61-2 record as a starter. Last season, he started 13 games for a 2-14 Bengals team, struggling with 16 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 3,494 passing yards, and a 78.3 QB rating.