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Report: Andy Dalton asked the Bengals to release him

Dalton knew the end was nigh.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

For almost ten seasons, Andy Dalton gave his all to the Queen City.

However, when the Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Burrow first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Dalton knew the end was near. While he could’ve competed for the starting spot, it’s become clear it’s Burrow’s to lose.

Having not found a quality trade partner, the Bengals, per a request from Dalton, released the veteran quarterback on Thursday morning.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero wasn’t the first to break the news, but he was the first to tell about Dalton requesting the release.

Dalton, linked to the Bears and Patriots earlier this offseason, exited the draft still a Bengal. Continuing his trend of being a high-character individual, Dalton welcomed the new rookie quarterback to Cincinnati.

Not even a week later, he’s now out.

Dalton played in Cincinnati for nine seasons after being draft in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Kicking off his career hot, Dalton led the team to a playoff berth and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

During his time in the Queen City, Dalton appeared in three Pro Bowls and helped lead the organization to five straight playoffs appearances to start his career. However, those were blackened by the fact that, although close, the Bengals came up short in all five.

After four straight losing seasons and being benched in 2019 before returning to captain the winless team to victory against the New York Jets, Dalton, and hopefully everyone in Cincinnati, knew this was bound to happen.

Burrow is the future, but the love for the Red Rifle should still be there.

As for Dalton, he clearly still views himself as a starting quarterback. Teams like New England could look to pick him up for a reasonable amount, potentially instantly increasing their title odds.

That said, the start of a new generation has finally dawned on Cincinnati.