Mike Brown has made it clear, he wants to re-sign quarterback Andy Dalton, but he also will do so at the right price. Brown even went as far as to say how the contract should look, citing Colin Kaepernick's deal with the 49ers as the range Dalton's deal should be in.
Dalton and Kaepernick have had differing levels of success, but Kaepernick's deal does appear to be a good starting point for Dalton: A deal that would pay him a lot annually for the first year or two, but the annual value will decrease if Dalton can't reach certain incentives (winning a playoff game would be a good one).
However, it's odd to see an owner disclose details in the middle of a contract negotiation. You rarely see sides publicly discuss the details of contract talks. Why reveal the details of the deal now to the public?
There could one of two reasons:
1. A deal is close enough that Brown feels it's ok to reveal what the deal will look like.
2. Brown is making it known what the deal he's offering Dalton looks like, essentially saying 'take it or leave it' in a public manner.
Either way, Brown has put the ball in Dalton's court. By also stating that the franchise tag is on the table, it appears Brown has a deal in mind for Dalton that if he doesn't take, he'll simply let Dalton lay out the season and then tag him in the offseason.
That leaves Dalton with a few options:
1. Take the deal he's offering now.
2. Try and push harder for more money during camp, but eventually take a deal similar to what's on the table now.
3. Bet on himself and play out the year in hopes of raising his value and that Brown will be forced to offer him a more lucrative deal next offseason.
It's too early to tell if/when an agreement is reached, but at least it appears the Bengals aren't ready to mortgage their future on Dalton.