Even if he remains the starter for the rest of 2019, the Andy Dalton era is over in Cincinnati
With the Bengals sitting at 0-4 after an ugly loss Monday Night, Andy Dalton remains the starting quarterback, but there is no logical reason for that to remain the case much longer.
The 2019 Bengals are going nowhere. With the team looking like a strong bet for a high draft pick in the spring, it is important to remember how things typically work in the NFL.
When a team struggles for a few years in a row like the Bengals have, the general manager is usually the first to go. The Bengals don’t have one of those and the Brown family are not going to fire themselves.
The head coach is next. That button was pushed this past offseason by the Bengals. Zac Taylor and his staff are under some fire for the bad start, but they just got here. Realistically, the vast majority of the staff isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
If improvement still doesn’t come, and it hasn’t for the Bengals, quarterback is the next logical change to make. To be fair, a lot of the issues on the field for the Bengals are not Andy Dalton’s fault. He has guided the franchise to several playoff appearances.
However, Monday night made it painfully clear. He has taken the franchise as far as he can. He has had a decent run in Cincinnati, but is not talented enough to make up for a roster with this many deficiencies. Also, the Bengals do not have big money tied to Dalton after this year, Zac Taylor was not the coach who brought him in to the organization, and the Bengals were linked to several top quarterback prospects before this year’s draft.
This brings up the guy the team did draft, Ryan Finley. The fourth round pick had an impressive preseason, but certainly does not give the team a better chance to win than Dalton right now, but even with Dalton. the 2019 Bengals are not going to have a shot at winning many games. That has been established. This week at home against also winless Arizona is an exception.
All this is why it is time to start Finley within the next month, but there is one other thing at play. Finley would no doubt take his lumps out there leading this team. Even so, there are a slew of college quarterbacks worth salivating over. The Bengals will almost certainly be placed high enough in the draft to land one, if they desire.
We have seen everything there is to see with Dalton, but the Bengals need to know if Finley can play when it really counts before the draft comes along. There is only one way to find that out. Throw him out there and see what happens. Cincinnati has nothing to lose except more games, that the team is probably going to lose no matter what.
If Finley can’t play, you draft a quarterback with your high first round pick, pick your favorite quarterback prospect folks. You all know who they are. If Finley plays well, the Bengals can look at other positions early in the draft to fill their many needs. When you look at everything, Dalton’s days in Cincinnati are numbered no matter what happens.