Apparently there's more to the Andy Dalton-to-New England narrative than fan speculation.
The Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars are among teams interested in signing the veteran quarterback after his reported release from the Cincinnati Bengals, Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday.
The Jaguars and Patriots are among the teams interested in Andy Dalton, per a source.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) April 30, 2020
New England didn't take a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft, which to our Tom E. Curran is a sign the team is confident in Jarrett Stidham as its starter in 2020.
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The 23-year-old attempted just four passes last season while backing up Tom Brady, however, so perhaps the Patriots want another veteran QB presence (along with backup Brian Hoyer) in case Stidham isn't ready out of the gate.
Dalton was set to make $17.5 million this season prior to his release. While he'll likely play at a steep discount in 2020, New England still would need to free up cash to sign him: The team has just $1.66 million in cap space and has yet to sign its 2020 draft picks.
Dalton went 2-11 as a starter in 2019 for the woeful Bengals, throwing for 3,494 yards with 16 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. Still, the 32-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowler with nine years of NFL experience, and some believe he'd be ready-made for the Patriots' post-Tom Brady offense.
Other teams may have a more pressing need for Dalton, though: Jacksonville currently employs Gardner Minshew as its starter after going 6-10 last season.