Andy Dalton revealed Tuesday that he wasn't necessarily seeking the biggest contract possible as he's about to sign his first big NFL extension. He's aware his contract will affect the Bengals ability to re-sign their other key players, and he just wants to get a deal done soon.
Now, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting there is progress being made between Dalton and the Bengals on a long-term extension. Multiple face-to-face talks have occurred over the past two weeks, and a deal is getting closer. He reported this on NFL AM Wednesday morning, and here's a brief recap of it from NFL.com:
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, progress is being made in the potential new contract for Dalton and the Bengals, but nothing is imminent right now. Rapoport notes that training camp probably is a little better timetable, while adding that the Bengals do appear committed to making Dalton their franchise quarterback. With only a year left on his current contract, Dalton is confident that a deal will get done eventually, Rapoport reports.
If this is true, then a deal could be reached around July 25th, the first day of Bengals training camp. Last year, negotiations for the Bengals to re-sign Geno Atkins to a massive extension didn't accelerate until camp opened.
Coley Harvey of ESPN isn't quite as confident about how far into a new deal the two sides are:
The Bengals have been in discussions with Dalton's agent, Jeff Nalley, during the offseason but the two sides haven't been able to agree on Dalton's worth, let alone how to structure the extension or determining guaranteed money.
As for Dalton, he knows it's up to him to prove his worth this year and in the future to ensure more lucrative deals are in his future.
"You have to have confidence in yourself that you're going to be able to do things and that's what he did," Dalton said. "He's confident enough where he's going to be able to play out the whole contract and he's going to be able to earn everything.
"So for me, I feel the same way. I feel confident with what I'm able to do."
One other tidbit from the NFL.com report from Albert Breer:
One AFC personnel exec told Breer that, if it were his team, he would set a ceiling for Dalton's contract at $15 million per year.
All of this suggests that a deal is close enough that it could get done in the coming weeks, but it's also sensitive enough that talks could still break down and Dalton opt to play out the final year of his rookie contract.
Anthony Cosenza contributed to this report.