Cincinnati Bengals: Duke Tobin Hints at Andy Dalton’s Future
With the Senior Bowl set to begin soon, Cincinnati Bengals de-facto GM, Duke Tobin, has been getting a lot of press attention. In one interview, he hinted at what the future could hold for Andy Dalton.
The second Zac Taylor decided to bench Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley this season, there has been non-stop speculation surrounding the 32-year-olds future with the team. Most familiar with the situation are well aware that the team can cut the veteran quarterback with zero cap ramifications, making it seem likely he will no longer be in stripes next season.
Not so fast says Duke Tobin, Cincinnati Bengal’s director of player personnel. He had this to say on the RapSheet + Friends podcast,
"“I can tell you one thing, what Andy Dalton’s done for the Cincinnati Bengals is not something we’re going to forget and we’re not going to just willy-nilly, make something happen with him that, a) he’s uncomfortable with and, b) that we’re uncomfortable with.”"
This quote sheds quite a bit of light on the situation between the franchise and Dalton.
First, and perhaps most importantly, the team clearly still holds the former TCU horned frog in high regard, despite the coaching regime change last year. It’s important that the Bengal’s show appreciation towards players like Dalton, who led them to five straight playoff appearances, for a number of reasons.
The Cincinnati Bengal’s franchise is often portrayed by the national media as one of the least desirable locations to play. The front office has combated this stigma by showing loyalty to the players they draft and rarely cutting ties with veterans before their contract is up.
However, that philosophy has taken a hit recently as the team underappreciated some important pieces (Andrew Whitworth) and cut others (Preston Brown). The Bengal’s look to be getting back to their loyal ways with Andy Dalton, giving him the treatment he deserves for his work both on and off the field. This bodes well for their reputation with free agents.
The next important thing to note is that the team won’t do anything Andy Dalton isn’t comfortable with. This seems to suggest that shipping him off to an undesirable location is not an option, even if the return is fair. It also seems to add more fuel to the fire in regard to the Dalton-Patriots trade rumors. It’s safe to assume Dalton isn’t comfortable with being cut either, causing him to lose out on a lot of money.
Finally, the Bengal’s obviously won’t pull the trigger on anything they’re not comfortable with. This signifies that if another team isn’t willing to cough up some decent draft capital, Dalton may very well stay in the Queen City another year. Considering the way the Bengal’s handled the trade deadline this season, they will likely need to be blown away by an offer to get him off the books via trade.
It seems the Bengal’s have significantly narrowed the options for Dalton this off-season. On one hand, it’s a positive that the team is treating one of the best signal caller’s in team history with the respect he deserves. On the other, they’ve backed themselves into a corner in terms of moves they can make. It looks more likely that Dalton’s $17.7 million will stay on the books, giving the front office less to work with in free agency.