The Bengals and Andy Dalton could reach an agreement on a new deal soon, but is that the right move? There's also the slight chance talks breakdown, and both sides opt to to a deal at a later date. We gathered our staff and posed this scenario:
The Bengals and Andy Dalton have to get an extension done this year. Would you prefer it be:
a) Prior to the start of training camp
b) Into training camp after a few preseason games.
c) Into the regular season
I've been on record saying that I don't want the Bengals to extend Andy Dalton (or franchise him) until after the season plays out. But, if it has to be done this year, I'd prefer it to be after a few games--particularly after a primetime performance or two. In my eyes, Dalton is in a "prove it year", even if it is just a few games into the season.
If I must pick one, I would pick "into the regular season," however, my preference would be to wait until the season is over. Dalton needs to show me that he can win big games and win in the playoffs before I hand him $15 million per year. By "show me", I mean winning in the playoffs.
Dalton's regular season stats and overall wins are impressive, but he has wilted in prime time games and the playoffs. I don't understand the rush to get Dalton extended. Make him prove it like the Ravens did with Flacco (that worked out well for Flacco and the Ravens).
If at the end of the season Dalton has won in the playoffs and maybe made a deep run, the Bengals have found their franchise quarterback and both parties win. If the season ends without a playoff win (or without a playoff appearance), then I think it is time to look at other options - either McCarron or another rookie.
I would extend Dalton now. I would also craft the contract to be very incentive based, much like the contract that Colin Kaepernick received in San Fransisco. The Bengals have a good quarterback in Dalton that still has room to improve. I would argue that since he has been in the league, he has had to adapt to an offensive coordinator that probably wasn't the right fit for the personnel on the team.
Dalton continues to be a very accurate quarterback and can excel when put in position to make the plays he is comfortable making. I think we will see a lot of that this season. If the season plays out that way then the price tag to extend Dalton goes up and you lose the ability to keep another high quality player.
The Bengals should sign Andy Dalton before training camp. Even though I have my doubts about Dalton, it seems more and more likely that a deal is going to get done. That could be before training camp, after the season begins or next year. But, financially getting a deal done now could benefit the Bengals. With the addition of Hue Jackson most believe the offense will improve. That means Dalton could cash in for even more money next season.
I think I am in the minority here, but I want the Bengals to extend Andy Dalton before the start of training camp. I say push a deal across the table similar to the one that Colin Kaepernick got. He said he wouldn't be opposed to it, it is a win, win scenario. His agent will be able to say "LOOK AT THE GUARANTEED MONEY" and the team will have lots of ways out of that guaranteed money.
Only the die-hard fans actually look into the contract details. Doing this before camp will get rid of the three-eyed raven (Game of Thrones reference) swirling around camp, chirping in Andy's ear, and allows them to get to work on Tez and AJ's deals. It will also give some stability to AJ so that he knows there is a capable player at QB when he inks his long term deal.
If he says no to a deal like this, let it be known in the media that there was a big deal offered, and that the negotiations will start back 'after' the season ends.