After nine seasons of mediocrity, the Cincinnati Bengals release quarterback Andy Dalton just days after drafting the most recent Heisman winner: quarterback Joe Burrow.
Dalton, 32, was the Bengals second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after being the all-time leader in wins at Texas Christian University. Dalton threw for 204 touchdowns with the Bengals, making him the all-time touchdown leader for the team, as well as appearing in the playoffs five times, losing in the Wild Card round each time.
Dalton was entering the final year of his six-year, $96 million contract with the Bengals. In order to sign the incoming rookie class, Dalton’s $17.7 million salary for the next season had to disappear. The Bengals had the worst record in the league last season and spent more than $145 million this offseason to improve the roster; one that still features receiver AJ Green.
Dalton’s final record with the team is 70-61-2, throwing 31,594 yards, 204 touchdowns and 188 interceptions in nine seasons, while being selected to the Pro Bowl three times. The Bengals haven’t made the postseason since 2015.
Although the Bengals tried to trade Dalton, no intriguing offers were found. There are rumors of the New England Patriots being interested in the veteran quarterback, especially since the team didn’t spend an early draft pick on one of the better prospects in the draft this year.
The Burrow Era is officially underway in Cincinnati. Burrow threw for 60 touchdowns last season en route to winning the Heisman trophy and the national championship. Burrow will now join the AFC North that features other Heisman winners Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Robert Griffin and Mark Ingram. This will be an entertaining division regardless of how many wins and losses there are.