The Cincinnati Bengals sent the wrong message with how they benched Andy Dalton
Benching Andy Dalton was the right thing to do for the 0-8 Cincinnati Bengals. The way they handled it and the message it sent was not.
Say what you will, but the Cincinnati Bengals lost some integrity with how they handled Andy Dalton. Dalton, the long time veteran and fan favorite, was given the bad news prior to the NFL trade deadline, making the potential of a deal to go elsewhere next to impossible.
This is, at its very core, how the Bengals are known to do business. In a recent podcast interview with John Middlekauff on his 3 and Out Podcast, former quarterback Carson Palmer spoke about the challenges and outright frustrations when dealing with the organization in Cincinnati. For Dalton, trust is likely an issue moving forward. It’s also a prime reason he may not want to be in Cincinnati next season.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports has reported that Dalton was “forthright in his displeasure” with the Bengals for not trying to trade him before sending him to the bench at the trade deadline. Cincinnati, who took an 0-8 record with them into the bye week, made Dalton the face of a season gone south. As they turn to rookie Ryan Finley, the writing appears to be on the wall for the veteran quarterback who called the timing ‘unfortunate’.
"“It happened three hours before the trade deadline,” Dalton said Wednesday. “I wish they would have, at least if he was thinking about it, at least try to let me see if I could end up somewhere or at least see if there was interest in possibly getting traded.”"
A week earlier, when asked about the potential of players moving at the trade deadline, Dalton commented on how the Bengals do business and have loyalty to the guys in the building.
"“Yeah, they’ve been loyal to the guys that we have in this building. So obviously, with the trade deadline coming up on Tuesday, it hasn’t been our MO of trading guys away or trading for players and different things like that.”"
The Bengals are a team who offer more frustration than a confidence winning is at the top of the day-to-day agenda. While it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe that the decision to bench Dalton happened on the long trip home from London, it seems unlikely, especially given the unknown commodity that is Finley. If IT WAS being discussed inside the brain-trust, Dalton has every reason to be displeased at the timing of losing his job.
It is hard to imagine Andy Dalton taking a regular-season snap short of an injury situation. At 0-8, the Bengals have nothing to lose riding out the 2019 season with a rookie picked in the fourth round. As for Dalton, he will have to wonder what could have happened if Cincinnati has made an effort, any effort, to do the right thing, and trade him elsewhere, perhaps even to a contender.
With Dalton’s comments and those from Carson Palmer, it’s hard to believe that players in the locker room and those who are not don’t take notice of the business model used by the Cincinnati Bengals, especially as it applies to a long-time player like Dalton. It also may well be a deciding factor in a lot of decisions made by free agents, and those currently on the roster.