It’s no secret that in the NFL, your season can come down to how well your backup quarterback can perform if called upon. The Bengals are no strangers to this. In 2011, a year they made the playoffs by just one game, Bruce Gradkowski was forced into action after Andy Dalton went down with an injury vs. the Cleveland Browns, and led Cincinnati to a fourth-quarter rally that helped propel the Bengals to a 9-7 mark, and now, two years later, they’re coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in three decades.
All because they had a quality backup QB.
“Should the Bengals draft a quarterback and groom him to be Andy Dalton’s backup, or should they sign a veteran backup?”
This offseason the Bengals will be looking to add a backup quarterback, because Bruce Gradkowski signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In two seasons with the Bengals, Gradkowski only appeared in five games and none of those were starts, he had a total of 29 pass attempts. This raises the question on which way should the team go to find a replacement for him. Before free agency started there were not many quality quarterbacks available, but in the last couple of days the Arizona cardinals have released Kevin Kolb and the Buffalo Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick does have ties with the Bengals; he played with the team in ’07 and ’08 before signing with the Bills.
The Bengals may also look to add a quarterback in the upcoming draft. They currently have five picks in the first four rounds, they are the 21st, 37th, 53rd, 84th, and 117th. Someone like Landry Jones from the University of Oklahoma might be available at the 84th or 117th pick. The scouting department did talk with Jones at his pro day. During his senior year at Oklahoma, Jones completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,267 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, with comeback wins against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. It should be interesting to see which direction the Bengals take to fill their backup quarterback needs.
The Cincinnati Bengals have lost their backup quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski, in free agency to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is now a hole as to who is behind Andy Dalton. Some people may argue that the Bengals should go after a quarterback in the draft and groom him. I, however, see that as a ludicrous idea. The Bengals have not gone after free agents this season, and have draft picks to fill some holes. Drafting a quarterback is not only unnecessary, it would take away a draft pick that the Bengals could use to better strengthen this team.
The 2013 NFL Draft class is a pretty solid one; although, the quarterback class is honestly pretty weak. If the Bengals want to get a young guy to be behind Dalton, they should probably wait until next season. Andy Dalton is already young and has only had one full offseason. The Bengals would be smart to bring in a veteran quarterback.
The Bengals have worked out Josh Johnson who, not a starter, could add a decent amount of elements to the Bengals game if Dalton is ever hurt. The Bengals can also look towards other free agents like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who could actually be an extremely good backup quarterback. He may not have been the greatest starter, but he is a good back up and good mentor, and can also come into a game and help this team out. The Bengals would be smart to have a veteran quarterback help progress Dalton, rather than draft a QB that takes away a draft pick that could help progress this team altogether.