Cincinnati– In a surprise move the Cincinnati Bengals could be in the market for a quarterback come this Thursday’s NFL Draft. Cincinnati was previously thought to be in the market for a defensive player, likely a quarterback.
Now though comes news from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Saturday morning that the Bengals could be interested in Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. This is certainly a surprise move should the Bengals go this direction, especially while they are in contract talks with Andy Dalton.
Bridgewater was viewed as the potential number one pick in this years draft but a poor pro day and a lackluster combine has dropped his stock. That stock appears to have fallen all the way down to the 20′s where the Bengals believe they can pick him up.
Bridgewater had a great career at Louisville. Bridgewater threw for 3,970 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions in the 2013 season. Bridgewater continuously got better as a three year starter at, 2011 saw the quarterback throw 12 interceptions and 2,129 yards. 2012 was better for him as he threw for 3,718 yards and only 8 interceptions.
The Bengals are currently at a crossroads when it comes the quarterback position. Current starting quarterback Andy Dalton looks phenomenal on paper, yet during games he continues to make mistakes. Then the playoffs roll around and Dalton has never won a playoff game in three straight appearances.
Cincinnati’s front office and coaching staff have seemingly acknowledged that Dalton has reached his ceiling as the quarterback for the Bengals. With ongoing contract negotiations happening right now the question looming is will the Bengals actually offer Dalton a deal and if they do will Dalton accept it or pull a Joe Flacco, reject the deal and pin his hopes on making a deep run in the playoffs this season.
Dalton has done nothing to show the coaching staff that he is the quarterback of the future that can lead the Bengals to the promised land. Bridgewater comes into this draft with a ton of upside. Upside that the Bengals could build off of with a new offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson.
The fact Cincinnati has shown interest in Bridgewater should be concerning for Dalton and encouraging for fans. What the Bengals will do Thursday remains to be seen.