NFL free agency is officially in full swing. Players are being signed to huge deals and teams are scrambling to fill holes on their rosters. No position during free agency has been at the forefront in recent years more than quarterback. This season, the Bengals can rest easy knowing that, for the time being, they have this position taken care of.
Even though it has only been going on for mere days, free agency hasn’t been particularly kind to the Bengals. Star offensive tackle Kevin Zeitler has already left to sign with Cleveland. In addition to Zeitler, Andrew Whitworth has gone to Los Angeles to play with the Rams. In spite of this, one nice thing has been the Bengals ability to stay out of the fray when it comes to signing a quarterback.
Quarterbacks have been one of the hottest commodities in free agency this year. Due to teams scrambling to find a starter, some average players are getting signed to big deals. Mike Glennon signed a deal worth 18.5 million in guaranteed money with the Chicago Bears. Brock Osweiler signed a monster deal with the Houston Texans last year and now got traded to the Browns. It’s clear that finding someone even resembling competent is at a premium this year. This is why it’s great that the Bengals have Andy Dalton.
What The Stats Say
Bengals fans have questions on whether Andy Dalton is a Super Bowl caliber quarterback, but there isn’t much debate that Dalton is at very least serviceable. For a team that has had quarterback issues in the past, it’s nice to not have to search for a QB during a free agency without great value at the position. In fact, many of the quarterbacks getting big deals don’t have stats quite as good as Dalton does. Glennon has a 5-13 record and Osweiler a record of 13-8. Both records represent an incredibly small body of work compared to Dalton’s 56-35-2. Dalton also leads in completion percentage with 62.7% compared to Glennon’s 59.4 and Osweiler’s 59.9.
Overall, Dalton scores better than both of the more high-profile free agent quarterbacks this year. It culminates in Dalton having a better passer rating of 89.1 compared to 84.6 and 77.4 for Osweiler and Glennon respectively.
Not Just Dalton
In fact, while some teams don’t even have one viable quarterback, the Bengals actually have two. Not only has Dalton proven that he is a solid starter, but AJ McCarron has shown promise as well. McCarron has a record of 2-1, a completion percentage of 66.4, and a passer rating of 97.1. This leaves the Bengals with options as far as trading one of their quarterbacks and potentially getting back nice value.
Bengals fans may not always love Dalton, but they have to admit it’s nice to be staying out of quarterback madness. This is particularly true of the 2017 quarterback market which is highlighted by high paying contracts for relatively average players. Debates will still occur as to whether Dalton or McCarron are the future of the team, but for now, the QB situation is stable. That’s something to be thankful for.