Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton missed an opportunity at the 2019 NFL Trade Deadline.
The Cincinnati Bengals look to have overestimated the market for veteran quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton, who was thought to be a hot commodity this offseason, has seen the effects of a saturated market at his position. Most telling was who wound up where, especially as the first domino, specifically, Tom Brady, began to fall.
But for those who believe the Bengals should have been aggressive in trade talks featuring Dalton, you have your timing wrong. Cincinnati should have been aggressive at the 2019 Trade Deadline, not in the NFL doldrums of March.
Fans need to remember the 24-10 loss the Bengals suffered in London against the Los Angeles Rams. After that game, and with the bye week AND a trade deadline on the schedule, rookie heads coach Zac Taylor made news by benching Dalton. Cincinnati was 0-8, going nowhere fast, and handed the keys over to rookie Ryan Finley.
Worth remembering was the frustration from Dalton, who was not happy at the timing of the change at quarterback.
"“It happened three hours before the trade deadline. If [coach Zac Taylor] was thinking about it, at least let us try to see if I could end up somewhere else or at least see if there was interest in possibly getting traded at that point. The way it was all handled, there wasn’t enough time to even have that happen.”"
Therein lies the Bengals’ original sin. If Cincinnati trades Dalton at the trade deadline, perhaps the organization has additional draft capital in 2020, and Dalton is someplace he can contribute and possibly even compete for the postseason. Instead, the likelihood he gets cut looms larger each passing day.
At 0-8, the Bengals were certainly trending down and on a collision course with a top-three pick. Even with Dalton engineering two wins late in the season, the dye was cast for a quarterback change in 2020. Unfortunately, Cincinnati assumed their standard operating procedure and sat quietly while the rest of the NFL went about the work of getting better.
The time to have dealt Andy Dalton was at the trade deadline in 2019. With a glut of veteran talent in 2020, Dalton finds himself on the outside looking in, at least for now. The Bengals did themselves and Dalton no favors waiting, and overestimated both the veteran quarterback and their view of all things NFL. That’s unfortunate for Cincinnati and for Dalton.