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The Roster Impact of Jason Campbell

For the first time since being drafted in 2011, Dalton will have a quality veteran backing him up who can not only push Dalton to new heights, but can mentor him along the way.

Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell
Jason Miller

Many have projected/hoped that the Bengals would take a mid-round quarterback in the 2014 draft to 1) push Dalton and/or 2) replace Dalton if he doesn't show progress in 2014 or can't be re-signed after 2014. With the signing of a quality veteran like Jason Campbell, the question remains, what impact does this signing have on the Bengals plans at the quarterback position? Short answer: Very little.

If you think Campbell was signed to compete with Dalton for the starting position, stop reading and crawl back under the rock you came from. Campbell was brought in to be the veteran mentor Dalton has sorely needed yet never had.

With 10 years of NFL experience, 79 starts and 87 NFL touchdowns (and just 60 interceptions), Campbell is far better equipped as a mentor than either of Dalton's previous backups (Gradkowski and Johnson) who combined for 13 years of NFL experience, a whopping 25 NFL starts and just 26 touchdowns to 34 interceptions.

More importantly, Campbell 1) is accepting of a mentorship role - one of the key traits to being a backup to a young quarterback; 2) knows Hue Jackson's system - and did well in the system (11-7 as a starter with 19 TDs to 12 INTs and a rating of 84+); and 3) he has a tract record of not turning the ball over(60 INTs in 79 starts) - something Dalton could learn from (49 INTs in 48 starts). In fact, in 10 seasons, Campbell has never had more interceptions than touchdowns.

So, with Campbell now on the roster, here is the impact of his signing:

1)      Josh Johnson's tenure in stripes is over.

Not surprising. First, Johnson was Gruden's guy. He was brought in because he knew Gruden's system and Gruden is now infecting RGIII with said system. Second, with essentially 0 NFL experience (5 starts, 1 start since 2009, 0-5 as a starter), no knowledge of Hue's system and accuracy issues (54.2% - 5TD/10Int), he serves little/no purpose as a backup - he can't mentor Dalton and he can't keep the ship sailing if Dalton were to go down.

2)      The Bengals will still draft a quarterback in the middle rounds of the 2014 draft.

With indications that the Bengals will go with 3 quarterbacks for the first time since Dalton was drafted, combined with the fact that Campbell is signed for only one year, drafting a quarterback in the middle rounds of the 2014 draft still makes sense even with the signing of Campbell.

The 2014 draft is deep at the quarterback position and drafting a mid-round QB would allow 2 young quarterbacks to benefit from Campbell's mentoring and provide the Bengals insurance if they cannot (or decide not to) re-sign Dalton.

3)      The Bengals will keep 3 quarterbacks on the 2014 roster.

Campbell is only signed for 1 year and though the Bengals are working on an extension with Dalton, as it stands currently, Dalton's deal is up after the 2014 season. As mentioned above, the Bengals are likely to go with 3 quarterbacks for the first time since Dalton was drafted and that means drafting a quarterback (they aren't going to keep 3 quarterbacks if that 3rd quarterback is Zac Robinson or Josh Johnson).

Personally, I would like to see the Bengals take a quarterback somewhere between rounds 3 and 5 - my preference (in order): AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Logan Thomas (6th round or later).