Dalton would be solid fit with post-brady Patriots
The move, not at all unexpected, was officially made late Thursday morning.
The much-anticipated reaction, we imagined seeing by lunch. Instead, the afternoon passed, and nothing.
What’s taking the New England Patriots so long to sign veteran quarterback Andy Dalton? They’re not as desperate as they look, you say? How can that be?
They would surely be upgrading at the most important position by signing the 32-year-old Dalton, who was cast adrift by the Cincinnati Bengals exactly one week after they made Joe Burrow the first pick of the
NFL draft. As it stands, New England’s top in-house candidates to replace Tom Brady remain second-year pro Jarrett Stidham, who has thrown four NFL passes, and veteran Brian Hoyer, who probably shouldn’t throw another.
The Bengals saved themselves US$17.7 million in cap space by cutting Dalton, and while the Pats have money issues of their own, Jameis Winston only cost the
New Orleans Saints $1.1 million. At this point, Dalton wouldn’t be getting more than that.
“Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise, and I know that he holds a special place in my heart,” team president Mike Brown said in a statement. “This is a hard day for our club because we know and appreciate what a consummate professional Andy has always been.”
Almost a decade after he was drafted 35th overall and started all 16 games as rookie — compiling a 9-7 mark with 20 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions — the “Red Rifle” is coming off his worst season. He won just two of his 13 starts while throwing a career-low 16 touchdowns.
Of course, the bad Bengals were without A.J. Green. Their superstar receiver injured an ankle during a practice in July that required “minor surgery.” It ultimately ended his season.
Taking him away from Dalton was like having your running back play with just one shoe.
Over the last few days, when they were trying to trade Dalton, the Bengals might have pointed out that he had a career 70-61-2 record and led the Bengals to the playoffs in five straight years. But the Bengals did not win a playoff game in his tenure and his last post-season appearance was in 2014, a 26-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts which saw Dalton complete just 18 of 35 passes for 155 yards.
So, yeah, parting with an asset or two to make Dalton your starter doesn’t make a lot of sense when he wasn’t even good enough to hold that job through the 2019 season with the worst team in football. But to scoop him up at no cost off the free agent pile, to serve as a backup or a mentor to a young QB, should be a no-brainer.
A few teams are being mentioned as possible landing spots for Dalton, with the Jacksonville Jaguars topping the list. Their offensive co-ordinator, Jay Gruden, had success with him in Cincy. Then there’s the New York Jets, who struggled mightily when young Sam Darnold missed three games. Also mentioned is the Denver Broncos, who last month signed Jeff Driskel (1-7 for his career) to back up Drew Lock.
Pittsburgh, Seattle, Arizona and the Los Angeles Rams all could use a cheap and experienced No. 2. But nobody needs Dalton more than the Patriots. This season doesn’t have to be a writeoff for them. They still have a very strong defence and a couple of good pieces on offence.
Dalton could be their starter. EXTRA POINTS: As expected, the Chiefs picked up the fifth-year option on Patrick Mahomes, extending his contract through 2021. Any day they could announce they have signed their superstar QB to a deal that will keep him in Kansas City for life. … Redskins coach Ron Rivera was asked on Good Morning Football if he had any interest in a reunion with Cam Newton, his QB for nine seasons in Carolina. “I have thought about it,” said Rivera, noting he has two young quarterbacks in Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen. “It’s about the situation and circumstances. I’m not sure if I would do it, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t do it.” What a nice way to say no chance … The Bears haven’t decided if they’ll pick up the fifth-year option on QB Mitch Trubisky. The deadline is Monday at midnight … Chicago did sign veteran WR Ted Ginn
Jr. to a one-year deal Thursday. At 35, he can still get down the field in a hurry … The Bears also signed S Tashaun Gipson, formerly of the Texans. … The Dolphins have cut DL Taco Charlton, a first-round pick of the Cowboys (28th overall) in 2017 claimed off waivers last season. … A report in The New York Post says the NFL will consider playing Saturday games if the college season is cancelled due to COVID-19 …
Rob Gronkowski maintains he was only “joking” when he said he had the Tampa Bay playbook four weeks before they acquired him. “I actually just received my team-issued Surface today from the Bucs and it’s still in the package,” he tweeted. “... Gronk run Gronk catch ball. No playbook needed. Hehe.”
Quarterback Andy Dalton went 70-61-2 with the Cincinnati Bengals but the “Red Rifle” was let go by the team on Thursday coming off his worst season.