With NFL training camps now less than a month away, now is the time we'll be seeing lots of preseason positional rankings. Anthony touched on Andy Dalton being in a tie for the 19th-best QB by ESPN.
In his preseason list of the NFL's top signal-callers, NFL.com' Chris Wesseling effectively ranked Dalton as his 20th-best QB while placing him in the 'borderline franchise' tier, which is kind of a compliment when you think about it.
Dalton's surrounding talent makes him look better than he is; it should work the other way around. Entering a contract year, Dalton remains the prime meridian of NFL quarterbacks.
In case you're wondering what the 'prime meridian' means, it was Wesseling's attempt to place Dalton in the same class as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez and other mediocre QBs who have stints as full-time starters.
Quarterback purgatory is a tricky proposition for NFL organizations.
Dubious of their ability to find an upgrade, the Bills set the franchise back a few years by committing to a known mediocrity in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Armed with a quarterback propped up by his defense and ground attack, the Jets went down the rabbit hole with Mark Sanchez.
Finding himself faced with a similar conundrum, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has doubled down on Dalton.
It's not quite time to put Dalton in that class of QBs just yet, though time is running out for him. Whatever tier of QB he belongs in, Dalton will be the starter for a team that, when healthy, is capable of going to a Super Bowl with him.
A 'borderline franchise' QB is exactly what Dalton deserves to be called right now. The question is, does he propel himself onto the right side of the border this year, or does he remain neutral or regress and keep holding this team back?