“I think I’m getting ahead of the game here a bit, but I think a great alternative for Andy Dalton in 2020 would be New England, if it moves on from Tom Brady. Dalton has one year left on his contract, and the Bengals would surely try to recoup something for him. But with everyone in the league knowing Cincinnati would be moving on from him in 2020, what would fair value be? A third-round pick? (Too high.) A fourth? Maybe. It’d would be interesting if the Patriots viewed Dalton as a one or two-year bridge to Jared Stidham or a future draftee.”
Andy Dalton Could Come With Little Risk
What King is saying here is correct — the Bengals will likely look to trade Dalton as they hold the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They’re expected to take the hometown Joe Burrow, who is regarded as the top prospect in the draft. Burrow is coming off of a Heisman season and record-breaking campaign as the LSU Tigers quarterback.
As odd as the Dalton-to-Patriots connection may initially sound, one has to remember that the 32-year-old quarterback is actually a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Before the Bengals hit rock bottom, Dalton had helped lead Cincinnati as a consistent winning franchise year in and year out.
In fact, with Dalton leading the way, the Bengals made the playoffs in each of his first five seasons — including two division titles. However, they never won a single playoff game with Dalton at the helm and since then, they’ve bottomed out. Over the past four seasons, the Bengals have gone a collective 21-42-1.
Considering Dalton will come on the cheap combined with the fact that he’s on an expiring deal, it makes the idea of the veteran quarterback in a Patriots uniform a very realistic one.
What Will Tom Brady Do?
Of course, the only way Dalton actually ends up in a Patriots jersey is if Brady actually retires or leaves New England. The 42-year-old quarterback made waves last week when he stated on Instagram that he still had something to prove.
All previous indications had been that Brady wanted to return for the 2020 season. However, the 20-year veteran appears to have backtracked from those statements after his recent interview with Jim Gray of Westwood One. According to Brady, he has yet to make an official decision regarding a return for next season.
“We are a week removed from the end of our season,” Brady said to Jim Gray in his weekly spot on Westwood One (h/t ESPN). “There is a lot of time to figure these things out. I don’t think any player or team is ready to make any commitments at this point, and I’m sure as the offseason progresses those things will take care of themselves.”
“I can only say how I feel, and that’s what’s the truth to me and what’s authentic to me,” Brady said. “And I have no decision that I have made, and there won’t be for some considerable time. So I know there is speculation; there always is. That’s just part of being in professional sports; that’s part of being a professional athlete.”
We’ll see what Brady decides to do. If he walks, Dalton could be the Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2020.