Barring serious injuries or an unforeseeable career collapse, Andy Dalton will be playing Quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals until the year 2020. Dalton recently signed a $115 million dollar 6-year contract extension with the Bengals.
There will be a lot of people to criticize this move. (Mykhal, I’m looking at you.) But the fact of the matter is, bluntly, teams need dependable quarterbacks. We live in a football world when 4000 passing yards in a season is the norm and teams are striving to have at least two top notch receivers when they could previously get by with only one middle-of-the-road wideout.
The phrase “It’s a passing league.” has become the truest cliché in sports. NFL teams with a dependable quarterback need to lock them up as long as possible. I can’t tell you that Andy Dalton is the best QB in the NFL but I can tell you he’s the best option they have. There’s not a free agent QB or a backup QB on any NFL team that has proven he can be a stable QB on the level of Andy Dalton.
Dalton has started every game of his three year NFL career and has missed no games for any injury in that same time span. He averages 3787 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions a season. His average quarterback rating is 85.5, out of 100. While one can make the argument that Dalton’s never won a postseason game, they’d also have to acknowledge that he’s yet to miss a postseason.
Quarterbacks have the biggest contracts on any NFL team because they have the most important decision. The Bengals will hear a lot of criticism because of the high price tag of the deal; but the fact is if you want a franchise QB on your roster, you’re going to have to pay him like one.
The bottom line is with the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers unofficially in rebuilding mode and the Cleveland Browns being the Cleveland Browns (until proven otherwise), the AFC North is the Bengals’ division to lose. Like it or not, the Bengals need Andy Dalton a lot more than any of us want to admit.