The story of the Bengals offseason is the contract status of quarterback Andy Dalton. With one year left on his rookie deal, the team appears prepared to sign him to a long-term extension that will ensure he's the franchise QB for years to come.
Head coach Marvin Lewis has stated he believes in Dalton and a deal needs to get done ASAP. New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has echoed those sentiments, and for good reason.
That's probably why Jackson said he and Dalton are "joined at the hip" in an interview with the NFL Network.
"We are tethered together. And I'll jump off a building with this guy," Jackson told Silver, "because I believe in the things he's trying to accomplish with his career, and I think I can help him."
Jackson's public support is no surprise. As NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks explained on the Around The League Podcast last month, Jackson's style is to challenge his players while simultaneously raising expectations and dishing out hyperbole.
The truth is that Dalton and Jackson probably won't be together much longer. Jackson wants to be a head coach again, and if he can improve Cincinnati's offense, he'll likely get one eventually.
As for Dalton, his goal is to become a franchise QB. If he can't become that in Cincinnati, he'll try to do so elsewhere if the Bengals ever part with him.
The ultimate goal for both of them in 2014 is make Cincinnati offense one of the best in the NFL. That will help Hue get that next head-coaching gig, while Dalton will get a lucrative extension (if he doesn't have one already) and a commitment from the franchise that he is their franchise QB.
Their NFL futures are really what's joined at the hip.