Andy Dalton’s days with the Chicago Bears were numbered from the beginning.
The Bears signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal in March with promises to be the starter. And he was, for two weeks, until getting usurped by rookie Justin Fields. Now, he’s the team’s backup, with another veteran, Nick Foles, behind him on the depth chart.
While there have been trade rumors surrounding Foles for months, as the Bears have let it be known they’d be willing to unload him, now, some analysts are calling for Chicago to send Dalton packing, with the idea he’d be a more attractive piece to some QB-needy teams than Foles would be.
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Dalton to WFT?
Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report thinks the Bears may have a few buyers if they were to shop Dalton, noting the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns currently have injury issues with their QBs. But it’s the Washington Football Team that may make the most sense for Dalton. With veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick still out and his backup Taylor Heinicke struggling, Tansey thinks adding Dalton to a QB room that also includes the uninspiring Kyle Allen would be a good thing:
Fitzpatrick could come back and deliver some decent performances to keep Washington in the NFC wild-card mix, but if the team wants to make a splash, it should go after Dalton. An argument can be made that Dalton is a better quarterback than Fitzpatrick right now. Dalton would at least be able to spread the ball out, and he is less injury-prone. The 39-year-old Fitzpatrick played in more than 10 games once in the last five seasons. Washington could cut ties with Heinicke or Allen to free up the roster space for Dalton if it were to make this potential trade. It likely will not happen because Washington has faith in Fitzpatrick, but it is something the NFC East should at least consider to make a step above mediocrity.
Washington does have faith in Fitzpatrick, and head coach Ron Rivera has said he plans on riding with Fitzmagic, who could return in a matter of weeks after having hip surgery earlier this season. But if Fitzpatrick’s return is stalled for any reason, it’s hard to think of a better backup option than Dalton.
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Bears Don’t Want to Move Dalton
The odds of this trade happening are highly unlikely, though. Put simply, the Bears like Dalton, and they like the security having him on the bench behind Fields provides. When the rookie went down for a key third down against the Las Vegas Raiders, Dalton filled in capably in relief. He’s a solid backup and a good mentor to Fields. I don’t see the Bears trading him, even though he’d be a good fit in Washington with Rivera.
Dalton has appeared in three games for the Bears this season, starting two, completing 74% of his passes for 270 yards, a touchdown and an interception. In relief of Dak Prescott last season in Dallas, Dalton completed 64.9 of his passes for 2,170 yards, 14 TDs and eight interceptions.
It’s Foles the Bears would like to get rid of via trade, but that probably won’t happen either. NFL insider Ian Rapoport called Foles’ contract “extremely difficult” to trade, as he’s guaranteed $4 million this season and $5 million in 2022. No one wants to pay that, including the Bears, but they’re stuck with him. We’ll see what happens, but right now, the odds are high both Dalton and Foles stay put.