The Cincinnati Bengals weren't able to work out a trade for Andy Dalton, but that failure wasn't due to a lack of effort.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported Monday some details on the Bengals' effort to move Dalton before ultimately releasing him.
How this went should further color where the Jaguars and Patriots are at the position. Cincinnati shopped Dalton to both, and neither showed much interest. And that—after his release detached him from the $17 million base that made him impossible for the Bengals to keep—neither wound up with him, despite both teams offering a clearer path to playing time, and despite Dallas only having to pay $3 million in base to get him, should say what you need to know about where they stand.
Dalton ended up signing with the Dallas Cowboys, who now have a competent veteran behind starter Dak Prescott. His one-year contract with the Cowboys is worth $7 million, including $3 million guaranteed, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Patriots don't have much salary cap space -- less than $2 million, actually -- so they weren't able to offer Dalton anywhere close to the $7 million he could earn from the Cowboys.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seems content to enter the season with 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham as the likely successor to Tom Brady. The Patriots didn't draft a quarterback despite making 10 picks, and they've only signed veteran Brian Hoyer in free agency.
Dalton would've been a nice backup for the Patriots if Stidham suffered an injury or just wasn't ready to be a starter, but missing out on the former Bengals quarterback is by no means a bad situation for New England.