Patriots

Patriots

Another veteran quarterback hit the NFL's free agent market Thursday with the Cincinnati Bengals reportedly releasing Andy Dalton.

Dalton spent nine seasons in Cincinnati and led the Bengals to five playoff appearances, although 2015 was the last time they reached the postseason. The Bengals just drafted LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so they are now moving to a new era at quarterback.

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Dalton has never been a top-tier quarterback, but he is a good option for teams that still want to bring another quarterback onto their roster. The 32-year-old veteran has plenty of starting experience, as well as four games of playoff experience. His career stats, completing 62 percent of his passes with 204 touchdowns and 118 interceptions aren't bad, either.

The New England Patriots soon will have a quarterback competition for the first time in nearly 20 years. Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham is the most likely starter for the 2020 season, but he'll have to beat out veteran Brian Hoyer, and maybe one or both of the team's undrafted free agent signings (Louisiana Tech's J'Mar Smith and Michigan State's Brian Lewerke).

Former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said in March that Dalton would be the most-ready QB to step into the Patriots system if Tom Brady left. That said, if the Patriots weren't confident in Stidham's abilities, they probably would've drafted a quarterback. Instead, New England passed on QBs in the draft and targeted other positions of need. It should be noted the Patriots only have about $1.66 million in salary cap space, as of this writing, so they don't have a ton of money to be active in free agency.

 

Here's a list of the best unsigned quarterbacks still available to the Patriots and the rest of the league on the free agent market.

Cam Newton, 31 years old
Andy Dalton, 32
Joe Flacco, 35
Mike Glennon, 30
Matt Moore, 36
Blake Bortles, 28
Cody Kessler, 27
Brandon Allen, 27
Trevor Siemian, 28
Geno Smith, 29