Cincinnati Bengals: What trade value does Andy Dalton hold?

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

All signs indicate the Cincinnati Bengals will move on from Andy Dalton this off-season. Here, we look at his trade value. 

As soon as the Cincinnati Bengals secured the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, it more than likely indicated the end of Andy Dalton’s tenure in stripes. Dalton could be a part of the future as a bridge quarterback, but it is more likely he’s dawning a new uniform next season.

The team structured the former TCU signal caller’s contract wisely, allowing them to move on this off-season with zero salary cap ramifications. While it is entirely possible ownership decides to simply cut him, the front office will undoubtedly try to orchestrate a trade and get draft capital in return.

Dalton is more respected around the league than many would like to admit. He came into the NFL his rookie season and took a Bengals team to the postseason after they won just four games the year prior. He proved that accomplishment wasn’t just luck, leading the team to four more playoff appearances thereafter.

He’s put up solid numbers over the course of his career, completing a respectable 62% of his attempts and breaking Cincinnati’s franchise record for touchdown passes. At his best, he’s won AFC player of the week on three occasions, AFC player of the month twice, and made three pro bowl appearances. He was even in the MVP race during the 2015 campaign before falling to injury.

Of course, this description is looking over some major blemishes on his resume. Still, his affordable contract and experience would be a welcome addition for a fringe playoff team such as the Chicago Bears.

In order to get an idea of just how much Dalton is worth, recent transactions from around the NFL must be analyzed.

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The most recent trade with similarities to the situation in Cincinnati involved a divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens. The Denver Broncos coughed up a fourth-round selection to pry away veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. According to the draft pick value chart, this netted the Ravens 68 “points”.

Flacco and Dalton may seem very different on the surface, but the two share plenty in common the more their careers are inspected. Flacco is just a tick behind Dalton in terms of completion percentage at 61.9%. Their touchdown to interception ratios isn’t far off either, with Dalton coming in at 1.7 and the former Raven’s signal-caller garnering a 1.5. Most importantly, at the time of the trade, Flacco was set to earn $18.5 million for a season’s work. Similarly, Dalton is slated to earn $17.7 million next year under his current contract. If the front office is looking for a precedent, the Ravens-Broncos trade offers a good starting point.

Another transaction that can be put under the microscope involves Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill, much like Flacco, has had a similar career to Andy Dalton in terms of pure passing efficiency, which makes this trade worth looking in to. The Miami Dolphins sent Tannehill and a 6th round pick to the Tennessee Titans for 4th and 7th round selections.

The exact point values of the trade cannot yet be fully determined, as it involves a 2020 draft pick and the Titans selection won’t be set until they are out of the play-offs. Still, the trade will get the Dolphins roughly 30 to 40 points when all is said and done.

So, based off of previous deals, Bengals fans shouldn’t expect a haul in terms of draft picks.

However, this suggestion above from Buccaneers beat reporter @TampaBayTre, makes things more interesting. If the Bengals could acquire a solid player such as tight end O.J. Howard, they should jump at the chance. In fact, the front office should push to have players included in trade talks to increase the return they get for Dalton.

If they do their due diligence, there are teams all across the league who may throw in a valuable player for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s an overabundance of depth at a position, a disgruntled player that no longer fits in the plans of the future, or an expiring contract, there are deals to be made.

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Admittedly, things get tricky when attempting to pin down an exact trade value for Andy Dalton. On the low-end, the team could net a late day three pick. Best case scenario, the front office negotiates an early day three selection or a quality player at a position of need. Regardless of what they get in return, every avenue of trading Dalton should be explored before simply losing him for nothing.