We have recently seen an explosion in contracts for quarterbacks.
Guys like Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford are among the highest paid quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins even got a full guaranteed deal of $84 million, which is just unheard of.
All of this money being thrown at quarterbacks leaves Andy Dalton on somewhat of a bargain deal. He will only count as around $16 million against the cap this upcoming season.
According to Geoff Hobson of the Bengals official site, Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn doesn’t think this is the right time to extend Dalton.
“We didn’t sign the Andy Dalton deal because we thought it was a good deal. At the time it was an expensive deal. It was a heavy lift,” Troy Blackburn told Hobson. “We did it because Andy was a winning starting quarterback in the National Football League, he had demonstrated that.
“We know statistically your best chance of success is by rewarding your own players and maintaining that quality core. That is what drove that. We are certainly aware quarterback deals have evolved since then. We know that at the right time we will have to evolve as well.
“We don’t think this is the time right now. What we are going to focus on right now is building the best team for 2018 we possibly can.”
It is hard not to agree with Blackburn here. Dalton may be on the lower end of starting quarterbacks, but the guys below him are pretty much bridge quarterbacks, or guys who took team-friendly deals.
The guys ahead of him are elite level talent or quarterbacks who had their contracts recently expire. The big deals for quarterbacks are more about opportunity than actual skill level. Many teams in the NFL are absolutely desperate for a starting quarterback, and they are willing to pay anything to be as secure at that position as possible.
How else do explain Jay Cutler gettin $10 million last season and Sam Bradford getting $15 million this year?
Dalton, to his credit, isn’t whining for a deal, even if he did he has very little leverage. Dalton spoke with reporters on Friday wilhe at TCU’s pro day, and he sounded at peace with letting his deal play out.
“I’m still a couple of years away from my contract being up,” Dalton said, via PFT. “It’s what I agreed to. It’s what I signed, so we’re going to let it all play out how it’s supposed to.”
Dalton has three more years left on his deal, which doesn’t bring in the idea of urgency. He also hasn’t outperformed his deal the past two seasons. He has had two of his worst seasons since being a pro. That hardly makes a team think they should be throwing even more money at a player.
Dalton will have his time again in about two seasons. If he hasn’t taken the Bengals to that next level, then we could see him having to play out his deal. The Bengals have all the cards right now. The only way Dalton can build any sort of an argument is by not only playing well, but by leading this team deep into the playoffs.
Even if he doesn’t though, it will be hard for the Bengals to let him go without a highly touted quarterback to replace him. Many Bengals fans can’t wait to get rid of Dalton, but the grass isn’t always greener, especially from a team’s perspective.
Look at teams like the Browns and Jets. That could be the Bengals without Dalton.