The trade deadline is fast approaching, and we have already seen a flurry of moves that are uncharacteristic of a usual NFL trade deadline. Usually it is nothing but speculation like this article from ESPN of trades that should happen.
The Bengals made a special appearance in this post as they suggested two teams should trade for Andy Dalton. To be fair both of these trades are filed away under “Four franchise-altering QB trades from Fantasy Land,” but it is interesting Dalton is involved in two of the four. The first of which being the Jaguars:
Jaguars acquire quarterback Andy Dalton from the Cincinnati Bengals for 2018 second- and fifth-round picks
This trade would give the Jaguars a veteran quarterback not named Blake Bortles. The Bengals would spend the season's second half evaluating A.J. McCarron. Dalton has been a good quarterback, but evaluators do not see him as player who consistently elevates those around him (they do not necessarily see Manning or Rivers in that light, either, but both have polled higher than Dalton in QB Tiers balloting over the years).
An agent thought the value for Dalton should be nearer the values for Manning and Rivers, given that Dalton is younger and signed to a friendly contract. That could be true. As with all these trades, the prices are secondary. Selling teams always want more than buying teams would prefer to pay. The concepts behind the trades are more substantive.
There seems to be this sense from people outside of Cincinnati that the Bengals are invested in McCarron as our future quarterback. I mean nothing against McCarron, but he did little to prove he is that much better than Dalton in his limited time as a starter and during the preseason. I could see this being a more realistic situation if the team didn’t win last week, and if they didn’t have a head coach literally coaching for his job.
The next suggestion hit a little closer to home for Bengals’ fans:
Cleveland Browns acquire Dalton from the Bengals for 2018 second- and fifth-round picks
The Bengals would be deciding they'd rather see McCarron than Dalton. The Browns would add a proven veteran quarterback under contract through 2020. Cleveland could still draft a quarterback early in 2018. Dalton would give them another option. The Browns own three second-round picks in 2018.
This would mark the second time Hue Jackson would have turned to the Bengals for his quarterback. Jackson of course was the coach of the Raiders when the Bengals traded them the retired Carson Palmer for a first and second round pick.
This would make a lot of sense for Cleveland. Dalton is very capable bride quarterback while they find and groom their quarterback of the future. There is also some obvious familiarity there as Jackson use to be Dalton’s offensive coordinator. Dalton would likely struggle though without a real threat at the skill positions though.
Of course we have to talk about the price in which the Bengals are trading away Dalton. A second and a fourth round pick may be fair however the Bengals will never part with their quarterback for that little. Dalton is under contract till 2020 and he just turned 30 years old. He has shown he can lead a successful football team during the regular season as well.
The bottom line is if you’re hoping the Bengals move Dalton during the deadline be prepared to be disappointed. Even if he was available it’d take a Palmer or Sam Bradford type offer to pry away Dalton from the Bengals.