The Cincinnati Bengals signed Matt Barkley to back up Andy Dalton and it shows little change when talking quarterbacks.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed quarterback Matt Barkley to a two-year deal on Saturday afternoon to back up quarterback Andy Dalton in 2018. Head coach Marvin Lewis wanted a veteran quarterback for his back up position and with quarterback A.J. McCarron leaving in free agency they were in the market for a new back up.
The signing of Barkley only proves that Lewis plans on not having a quarterback competition come training camp and handing the keys over to Dalton once again. McCarron left the Bengals wanting a chance to play as a starter because he was never given the chance in Cincinnati even when Dalton was struggling. The only time McCarron had starting time was when Dalton went down with an injury.
Dalton has never been pushed since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He has been named the starting quarterback without any kind of competition and its crippling the Bengals. If Lewis really believes in Dalton having higher potential then he needs to give him some competition to push him to that next level. Even with weapons all around him, Dalton has struggled in numerous years with his conservative play style.
Bringing in Barkley just continues the mediocre play from Dalton giving him no worry to concern about his starting position. Barkey, 27, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He has since bounced around the league only getting a chance to start for the Chicago Bears in 2016.
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Starting in six games for the Bears the team went 1-5. Barkley threw for 1,611 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. His only other playing time was spread out of three games in 2013 with the Eagles where he threw for 300 yards and 4 interceptions. Now explain to me how a quarterback that couldn’t even make a roster until mid-season last year including a third-string spot is supposed to back up Dalton in the Bengals offense with any kind of improvement?
The Bengals also have back up quarterback Jeff Driskel who they claimed off the waivers in 2016. Driskel has failed to run a single NFL snap and finished the 2017 season early after suffering a broken arm in practice. Neither of the two back up quarterbacks for the Bengals show any kind of competition for Dalton and it will likely be pointless even having three on the roster going into 2018 if they aren’t receiving an opportunity to compete for a starting position.
Dalton, no matter what you believe in his potential, needs to be pushed in training camp and feel the pressure of another quarterback that is worth a QB battle. Look at the Kansas City Chiefs last season who drafted rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes after conservative play for years from quarterback Alex Smith. After moving up and drafting Mahomes 10th overall in the 2017 draft, Smith went on to have his best career season surpassing 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his 13 year career.
Mahomes being a gunslinger type quarterback coming out of Texas Tech meant that the Chiefs wanted a quarterback willing to make the bigger throws. Smith, in turn, went on to become the top deep throwing passer in 2017 for the Chiefs. Smith was still traded following the Chiefs first-round playoff loss but was pushed to a new high with someone sitting behind him.
There is no reason not to draft a quarterback in the first few rounds in the 2018 draft and give Dalton some competition. The Bengals have 11 picks in the upcoming draft and why not use one on a quarterback? What’s the worth that could happen? Cincinnati either gets more out of Dalton or moves on from Dalton and giving the keys to the rookie who beat him in camp. Either way means better play for the Bengals offense.