Is the Red Rifle Chicago-bound? The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. reported Friday that the Chicago Bears “have been in touch with the Bengals on the topic” of trading for veteran quarterback Andy Dalton.
Dehner, who covers the Bengals, wrote that both teams have discussed a possible trade for Dalton specifically, although no announcements or deals of any kind have been made. Not yet, at least.
During their respective media sessions at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, both Bears’ GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy expressed the sentiment that the team’s current starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, will be getting some competition this offseason.
As of now, it’s looking as though that could come in the form of Dalton, and perhaps via the draft, as well.
Andy Dalton to the Chicago Bears: Good or Bad Idea?
Dalton has played nine seasons in the NFL, all with the Bengals. Bears fans seem divided on social media about acquiring Dalton, who has had zero postseason success in his career. While he has never set the world on fire with his arm or his legs, he has been a reliable starter in the league for nearly a decade. And, as Windy City Gridiron’s Robert Schmitz pointed out while defending Dalton to disgruntled Bears fans, had Dalton played for the Bears for the entirety of his career, “he would hold every single Bears career passing record but two — INTs and Y/A, both records held by Sid Luckman.”
Dalton may not have a gaudy stat line, but he has been a solid player, and he hasn’t missed more than five games in any season as a pro. With a relatively clean injury history and an affordable price tag, a player like Dalton would be a solid replacement for the Bears’ current backup, Chase Daniel. He could also do what Pace and Nagy suggested they wanted to do: create competition in the quarterback room to push Mitchell Trubisky.
For fans of the team this could be a win-win. A quarterback like Dalton isn’t as big of a name as a Tom Brady or a Derek Carr, or some of the other names floating around the upcoming free agency period — but neither of those players are a very realistic option for the Bears with their current salary cap situation.
Trubisky will likely get the opportunity to start, and if he doesn’t perform well, Dalton could step in and provide the offense with almost a decade of experience as a starter. If Mitch plays the way he did in 2018, the former second-overall pick will remain the starter, and the offense will likely have improved. Win-win.
Dalton isn’t the best quarterback available, but he certainly won’t be worse for the team than Chase Daniel, and he also is familiar with Chicago’s new offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor.
In his nine years with the Bengals, Dalton has had two 4,000 + yard seasons, and he has thrown 25 or more touchdowns four times. He also made the Pro Bowl three times, so he has the potential to be an above average quarterback.
Dalton has also been linked to the New England Patriots, so the veteran QB seems likely to land with a better team than he has ever played on before.