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Drafting Outside-the-Box: Part II - Dalton for Brees?

Many Bengals fans would be ecstatic if the Bengals were to trade Andy Dalton. If that trade meant getting Drew Brees in return, they may faint. Is it likely to happen? No. Could it work? Why not? We take a look at how the Bengals could send shock waves through the NFL and go from playoff contender to Super Bowl contender.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I love the NFL Draft. I will read every mock draft I see and read any player profile I come across. In fact, I like to refer to the NFL Draft as Christmas for football fans. But, even a draft junky like myself can get tired of some of the draft overkill – player profiles, mock drafts, etc. So, in an effort to break up some of the draft talk monotony, I'm running a three part series where I take a look at some outside-the-box draft ideas for the Bengals. Part II features a quarterback swap.

The Trade:
Bengals trade Andy Dalton and their first round pick (21st overall) to the Saints for Drew Brees.


Why it makes sense for the Saints:

  • The Saints are not built to win now, their roster needs two to four years and Brees will be 37 by the time the playoffs start. He doesn’t have two to four years to wait.
  • The Saints have a shaky offensive line that cannot protect Brees and he has lost his safety outlets – Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles.
  • The Saints defense is terrible - Overall (31st); Run (29th); Pass (25th); PPG (28th); Takeaways (28th).
  • Dalton is good enough to compete in the NFC South (especially with the picks they would have) – he is 4/4 making the playoffs in a much tougher division and went 3-0-1 against the NFC South in 2014.
  • With the additional pick, the Saints would have three first round picks, four in the first 44 picks and six in the first 78 – meaning they could quickly build a good team.
  • With their first four picks, the Saints could add a top pass rusher (i.e. Randy Gregory, Vic Beasley), a top lineman (i.e. La’el Collins, DJ Humphries), a quality receiver (i.e. Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Devin Smith) and a defensive lineman (i.e. Jordan Phillips, Carl Davis or Michael Bennett) – that is a good team for a young quarterback like Dalton.
  • Dalton’s contract would allow the Saints nearly $31 million in additional cap space over the next two seasons – money that can be put to good use in the free agency market.
  • Lastly, the Saints backup quarterback is Luke McCown… meaning they have a 36-year-old quarterback and no quarterback transition plan – Dalton would give them a long term quarterback option.

Why it makes sense for the Bengals:

  • Simple, the Bengals have a roster built to win now and would become a legit Super Bowl contender with Brees – their window matches that of Brees.
  • Brees has the tools to capitalize on the talent the Bengals have on offense.
  • The Bengals are not sold on Dalton (or AJ McCarron); this move gives them a two to three year window to find a quarterback to groom under a Hall of Famer (either McCarron or another young QB).
  • The Bengals are unlikely to draft a player at No. 21 who will contribute greatly in 2015.

Why Not:

Why it does not make sense for the Saints:

  • If the Saints believe they can win a Super Bowl in the next two to three years with the roster they construct, then trading Brees doesn’t make sense.

Why it does not make sense for the Bengals:

  • If the Bengals believe Dalton can become a franchise quarterback and win a Super Bowl, then trading away a 28-year-old franchise quarterback is a bad decision.
  • The Bengals could potentially lose both starting offensive tackles and a starting offensive guard after the 2015 season and the Bengals could use the 21st pick to find someone to groom at OT.
  • Brees cap hit over the next two years is nearly $54 million – or about $31 million more than Dalton’s cap hit – this could hinder the team from signing key free agents after 2015.

Likelihood of occurring: Slightly above 0.00%