High Five: 5 Reasons Not To Sweat Dalton’s Contract

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Jun 11, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown (left) walks with quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

5:  The New Broker

Possibly the most important aspect of this contract and one that the media missed was that Katie Blackburn, executive vice president of the Bengals and daughter of owner / general manager Mike Brown, reportedly ran point on the negotiations.  Brown, who sat at the helm of Bengals during the dark decades of the 90s and 00s, said in a press conference recently that Blackburn and Head Coach Marvin Lewis were essentially running operations.  As the media ripped the Dalton contract in accordance with Brown’s poor managerial style, few looked beyond the aggregate numbers to see the originality and complexity within this contract, which is the first hard evidence of what many hopefuls have been speculating for the past two years: change was and is truly afoot in Paul Brown Stadium.

In closing, it is better to think of this as two separate contracts.  With the first, the Bengals invest in their quarterback of the immediate future; a 3-year extension worth $47.1M.  The second contract, another 3-year $52.1M extension, is contingent upon the first.  One has to imagine the Bengals producing a deep playoff run in order for the team to into those final three years, in which case, Cincinnati will have their veteran signal caller at well below market value.  And to denounce the straw man argument that the Bengals should have let Dalton play out the year, if the Bengals had waited until next year only to have Dalton sign a similar deal (unlikely), it would be 2018 before they could take a frugal second look on their investment.  Additionally, it would have mudded the talks with Green and Burfict.

The media is crazy; this contract is brilliant.