Should the Cincinnati Bengals give quarterback Andy Dalton a long term deal? Absolutely not. In no way should the Bengals pay Dalton for being a regular season hero. Three playoff appearances in a row are wonderful, honestly Cincinnati hasn’t seen that kind of success in a long time. Dalton isn’t the answer though.
Cincinnati has apparently offered Dalton a “significant contract” according to radio analyst and former Bengals offensive lineman David Lapham. This is not good news to anyone who does not want to see Andy Dalton lead this offense following the 2014 season. Lapham has been known for great insider information over the past two years, if he says a deal has been offered it likely has.
Rumor has it Dalton and his side are looking for a long term deal likely in the $15M a year range. That is ludicrous if it is true, Dalton is worth no where near those numbers. Currently Dalton will make $986,027 in 2014, the final year of his 4 year $5,214,198 rookie contract. Dalton is looking to double or even triple his salary, not for the entire length of the contract, he is looking to make that a year.
Dalton has been good in the regular season, there is no denying that. Dalton has thrown for more yards, more touchdowns and more interceptions over his three seasons as the Bengals starting quarterback. In 2011, Dalton passed for 3,398 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions taking the Bengals to the playoffs and losing in the first round. In 2012, Dalton passed for 3,669 yards, 27 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and once again led the Bengals to the playoffs and another first round loss.
In 2013. Bengals fans expected Dalton and the Bengals to turn it around. Dalton threw for 4,293 yards, 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions on the way to winning the AFC North and another appearance in the playoffs. An embarrassing performance against the San Diego Chargers has many questioning Dalton’s ability to perform.
If the Bengals were smart they would low-ball Dalton, present him a deal he would turn down. That way you give him a chip on his shoulder (i.e. Joe Flacco) and he goes on a tear this season and wins the Super Bowl. Highly doubtful, but say it happens, then the Bengals can give Dalton a huge deal without having to deal with the fan backlash.
Say Dalton rejects the deal and falls flat on his face this season. If that happens the Bengals can rest easy as Dalton tests the free agency waters. They also would have the possibility to sign/draft a new quarterback or perhaps implement AJ McCarron into the starters role.
The Cincinnati Bengals do not owe Andy Dalton anything. They do owe their fans a winning quarterback, one who can perform under pressure and win playoff games.