Bengals Need to Play Poker with Patriots in Andy Dalton Trade Talks
With Tom Brady on his way out in New England, the Cincinnati Bengals offer something the Patriots need.
The Cincinnati Bengals may have just found their opening to offload Andy Dalton’s contract. After an astonishing 20 years with the New England Patriots organization, legendary quarterback Tom Brady has announced he’s on his way out the door, leaving a hole behind center in Robert Craft’s dynasty.
The quarterback market has settled somewhat, with the opening of the tampering period yesterday. Drew Brees is back with the Saints, Marcus Mariota will call Las Vegas home with the Raiders, and Ryan Tannehill will run it back with Tennessee. The Patriots options are growing less in number by the minute.
They could acquire Jameis Winston, but that would come with a significant price tag and according to Over The Cap, the team wields just over $3M in cap space. Philip Rivers remains on the market but again, he would come at a steep price and he’ll turn 39 during the 2020 season.
That leaves Andy Dalton as the most desirable quarterback left on the market for what the Patriots are wanting. He has a much more affordable contract and would likely be willing to restructure his deal in order to chase the playoff success he never found in stripes.
Make no mistake about it, no matter how much Bill Belichick pretends he’s uninterested during media interactions, he cares about his legacy. He wants to prove he can win without a future hall of fame quarterback on his side. Dalton provides him the opportunity to do just that. Of course, Belichick will always be looked upon favorably with his many Super Bowl wins, but if he can be successful without Brady, it only adds to his lore.
The Bengals have historically gotten the better end of the deal in their numerous trade interactions with the Patriots. There’s no reason not to do so here, especially with the knowledge that the Patriots coughed up a second-round pick for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu just last year.
The clock is ticking for the Bengals as they undoubtedly hope to get Dalton’s $17.7 million cap hit off the books to use in free agency. However, the front office should put on their best poker face and wait until the Patriots give them their highest offer for the veteran quarterback’s services. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get the Chicago Bears in a bidding war with them as well.