The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They’d create a city-wide riot if they decide to draft anyone other than LSU superstar quarterback and Heisman winner Joe Burrow.
That may draw the end of a near decade-long era of football by Andy Dalton, the team’s second-round draft pick back in the 2011 NFL Draft. Bringing in Dalton and A.J. Green in the same draft, Cincinnati was immediately rejuvenated with a new hope.
As Green’s been out all season dealing with an ankle injury, Dalton’s numbers have plummeted, leading to his midseason benching.
While Dalton was eventually put back into the starting lineup and led the team to their only victory, his future in the Queen City is far from certain. However, what we do know is that Ryan Finley isn’t the answer.
It’s either Dalton or Burrow, and Dalton isn’t putting too much focus on the future with Week 17 looming over the team in what could be his final game at Paul Brown Stadium.
“Won’t be my focus at all. Just playing and trying to lead this team and play well. After the fact, we’ll see what happens,” Dalton said according to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper. Alper also noted that Dalton doesn’t feel that this is the end of his career.
After Dalton was 10-3 to end the 2015 season, the team will now succumb to their fourth straight losing season. Things must change, and if Zac Taylor is smart, he’ll make sure he secures what could be the best quarterback in franchise history.
Dalton has seen his good times in Cincinnati, taking the franchise to numerous playoff berths.
With three Pro Bowl appearances throughout his nine seasons, Dalton’s 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions combined with the Bengals 1-11 start with him under center could spell the end of the era.
Don’t tell him that though, as the Bengals will be preparing for AFC North rival Cleveland this coming week.