Andy Dalton now has signed his first big NFL contract. In the process, he's set himself up for life, as well as his wife and newborn son, Noah.
Needless to say, Dalton was very humbled to Bengals were willing to give him a deal that could be worth up to $115 million.
"This is unbelievable. I’m just very thankful for the Bengals organization and for my teammates to help me here where I am," Dalton said. "I’m excited about the future and that I’ll be here for a long time."
But Dalton isn't settling for this. He wants to win, and he wants to win in the postseason, where Dalton knows his play has hindered the Bengals. That said, he's happy to have the support of the franchise, despite his playoff woes.
"It means a lot," Dalton said of the support he’s received from the club since the loss to the Chargers. "To hear it is one thing. Now it’s officially done. I know I’m going to be here for a long time."
At times last year, it really looked like Dalton was playing too tight, as if he knew a potential $100+ million contract was on the line. That led to some poor performances, as his focus wasn't completely on football. One month, he's winning AFC Player of the Month. The next, he's floundering into obscurity for four weeks.
Now, football can be the only thing he focuses on during the season, and Dalton knows the big thing hanging on him now is the lack of a playoff win.
"I expect to go out and play well. That’s the biggest thing. I don’t think there is any more pressure," Dalton said. "The biggest thing hanging over me is I haven’t won a playoff game. That’s what we’re striving to do. Not win just one, but win it all. Until that happens, people will always say, ‘ he hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that.’ I have to go out and accomplish that."