Why Andy Dalton is a master chess move in the Patriots smokescreen

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Andy Dalton to the New England Patriots has been a hot topic this NFL offseason. But is it a legitimate story, or the kind of game that only Bill Belichick himself could mastermind.

Cincinnati Bengals veteran quarterback Andy Dalton has been linked to more than a few 2020 gigs these past few weeks. From the New England Patriots to the Chicago Bears, to the Indianapolis Colts, and even the Bengals, surprisingly, Dalton is getting a lot of ink. After those teams, you can still make good arguments for Las Vegas with the Raiders, Jacksonville, and even in Los Angeles with the Chargers.

But, wait. The one-story hanging out there, the one most tantalizing and vexing for fans is in New England, with the Dark Star and Tommy Terrific. It’s Bill Belichick cutting bait on Tom Brady for the greener pastures of, wait for it-Andy Dalton.

Yes, THAT Andy Dalton.

Now for fans of the Red Rifle, and that is a passionate fanbase, this isn’t about adding insult to injury. What it is about, is that all the Dalton to New England noise could be one of the most elaborate smokescreens you’d ever see. Think about it, in the Brady household, both Tom and Gisele must be wondering out loud how Darth Vader himself would see Dalton as a reasonable replacement for the Golden Boy.

It’s that crazy, right? Belichick dangling a name like Dalton through a proxy in the media to possibly humble Brady back to Boston. Wouldn’t Brady find it offensive that he’d be so easily replaced by a quarterback who has NEVER won a playoff game?

Brady moving elsewhere is likely still a long shot. That said, it is worth noting that every time a Brady to Las Vegas, or Tennessee, or of late, San Francisco pops up, so does the potential love affair that is Belichick for Dalton.

Sure, it could happen. Dalton would only be a quarterback operating the New England system, not actually replacing Brady as no one could. Tommy himself knows that can’t so easily happen. Brady knows Dalton could never duplicate what has happened with TB12 in New England, no matter how interested the Dark Lord wonders aloud about it happening.

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Heck, it’s enough to keep Brady in Patriots gear to make that very point.