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Could Washington make a push for Andy Dalton?

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The desperation of NFL teams can never be underestimated.

NFL: International Series-Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Plans are rarely set in stone in the NFL, a league where past relations dictate numerous major moves every season.

For some organizations, a new regime means a new start, and a hackneyed regime may be desperate to win at all costs. This dynamic seems to describe the Bengals and Washington very well as they enter this offseason.

To the dismay of many Bengals fans, a rumor regarding the Bengals’ interest in current Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill surfaced not long after it was being reported that Zac Taylor will become the Bengals’ next head coach. Tannehill and Taylor have a history, and it’s certainly plausible that Taylor may not be interested in trying to get the most out of Andy Dalton.

Speculation of such a concept would lead to one conclusion: Dalton’s time in Cincinnati is numbered. But where would he go if Tannehill were to replace him?

Well, if Tannehill could reunite with a former coach of his, then Dalton could do the same. NFL insider Benjamin Allbright has linked Washington to Dalton, coinciding with Tannehill coming to Cincinnati.

We discussed the logic of Taylor reuniting with Tannehill here, but the subject of where Dalton finds himself in this scenario was mainly speculation. Tannehill would only join the Bengals if he were to be released by the Dolphins, which seems to be very likely. The Bengals would not take on his current salary via a trade, but they would want to send Dalton away in that fashion in order to acquire immediate compensation.

Washington, in Year 6 of the Jay Gruden era, aren’t exactly in a position to rebuild — even with their quarterback Alex Smith unlikely to play in the 2019 season. They invested a ton of guaranteed money in Smith and they’d eat $53 million if they were to cut him.

If they traded for Dalton, they’d have him under contract for two years for a reasonable cap hit compared to other veteran quarterbacks. They could also cut him in 2020 if they want to give the reins back to Smith.

If you’re skeptical of such events transpiring, think about this: The reported staff that Zac Taylor has been building all have connections to him, with the exception of Jack Del Rio. It would make sense if Taylor would want to work with Tannehill, the first professional quarterback he worked with in his career, in the early portion of his first head coaching job.

For Gruden, he cannot possibly start Smith’s backup Colt McCoy while Smith heals for the entire 2019 season. Smith is also 34, so it’s fair to think his best days will be long past him whenever he returns.

Washington can draft a quarterback early, but they don’t exactly have the capital to move up for one. They’re in a tough spot, so we cannot rule out potential desperation.

The Bengals have stood by and watched the yearly quarterback carousel go around. With a new head coach, they may be riding it for the first time in a long time.