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ESPN lists Bengals as team that needs to draft a QB

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Even with Andy Dalton's contract structure, the Bengals aren't drafting his replacement this year.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Bengals draft a quarterback this year?

Even if they do, it's probably going to be a late Day 3 pick spent on someone who needs at least a few years of development. That didn't stop ESPN's Field Yates from pegging Cincinnati as a team that needs to draft a QB in this year's draft.

Yates listed the Bengals in the "veteran signed, but questions remain" tier, along with the Bears, 49ers and Eagles.

Andy Dalton received a long-term extension last offseason, but the construction of it gives the Bengals some year-to-year evaluation ability. He has consistently helped the Bengals to the playoffs, but his postseason performance has been disappointing. There's no real threat on the roster to leapfrog Dalton.

It's fair to say that questions will continue to surround Dalton until he wins a playoff game, but even with his contract structure, the Bengals aren't drafting his replacement this year.

Well, unless they find another Tom Brady in the sixth round, but don't count on that.

The real question is whether Cincinnati will draft a QB early in the 2016 draft. That's when the Bengals can cut Dalton without incurring a big cap hit every year going forward. If Dalton regresses again in 2015, don't be shocked to see a high pick spent on a QB early in next year's draft.

It won't happen this year though.