clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Andy Dalton among biggest losers from NFL Free Agency

New, comments

It's hard to disagree if he lost two of his top pass-catchers this offseason.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After the first major wave of NFL free agency, the Bengals aren't exactly winners or losers of the NFL version of March Madness.

Heck, you could argue they are winners after re-signing their best (George Iloka) and second-best (Adam Jones) free agents this offseason. Jones and Iloka will help ensure the Bengals' secondary remains one of the NFL's best next season, not to mention keep this defense among the league's best as well.

But if there is any loser from free agency, it's Andy Dalton.  After losing two of his top four targets of the past three years, it's hard not to say Dalton lost a lot this offseason.

Jones and Sanu quietly made big contributions at various points throughout their four-year careers in Cincinnati while teaming up with A.J. Green to make life a lot easier on Dalton than a lot of quarterbacks. Over their past three seasons, Sanu and Jones have combined for 3,167 yards and 21 touchdowns, and that's with Jones missing all of 2014.

Unfortunately, both are gone after Sanu signed with the Falcons and Jones joined the Lions. That's why Pro Football Focus tabbed Dalton as one of the biggest losers of free agency thus far.

4. Andy Dalton

The Cincinnati Bengals have generally fared well enough in free agency this year, re-signing cornerback Adam Jones (83.3) and safety George Iloka (82.6), plus there is the possibility that they could still bring back safety Reggie Nelson (84.2) to see them retain their three highest-graded free agents on the offseason. However, they have lost two receivers for Andy Dalton, and while they still have A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert, losing both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu does hurt somewhat. Jones broke out in 2013 before missing all of 2014 through injury, but has shown good ability after the catch in each of his past two full seasons, forcing 15 missed tackles on 59 receptions in 2013 and 12 missed tackles on 69 receptions in 2015. Sanu has never quite lived up to the hype, and dropped 15 of the 74 catchable passes thrown his way in 2014, but was used on trick plays and had shown the ability to throw a pretty good ball downfield on wide-receiver reverse passes.

I don't think it's fair to call Dalton one of the five biggest losers of free agency thus far. If anything, it's disrespectful to the other Bengals pass-catchers that will ensure this offense doesn't drop too far next season.

Not many teams have a group like Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard and A.J. Green to throw to. That's two All-Pro talents and one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL. That's not even accounting for a strong offensive line and Jeremy Hill pounding the rock with Bernard, giving Dalton about as good of a supporting cast as you could ask for.

So yeah, I think Dalton and the Bengals offense will be fine.