Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spent time on Friday talking with the media during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and one of the questions that he was asked about concerned the long-term prospects regarding quarterback Andy Dalton. Without saying in so many words, Lewis told reporters that the team and Dalton's representatives will meet at some point during the offseason.
"At some point here in the future, representation from our people and his people will get together and try to discuss something," Lewis said. "We feel good about what Andy has done over his first three seasons. And we hope to continue to help him and put people around him to allow him to play better and better."
Much like Lewis, the thought is that Dalton, who is 0-3 in the playoffs, should play out the remainder of his rookie contract and earn an extension if he's able to push the Bengals deeper into the playoffs. While we hate pointing to one guy for a loss, it's without a doubt that Dalton's second half performance (two picks, lost fumble) were significant contributors towards Cincinnati's third-straight first-round exit -- this year against the San Diego Chargers.
That being said, he's also done some good things in Cincinnati. The Bengals are 30-18 as a starting quarterback, and he's improved his touchdown production in each of his first three years -- 20, 27, then 33. However, his interceptions and turnovers have also increased.
Dalton is eligible for an extension this year.