Andy Dalton

NFL rumors: Bengals shopped Andy Dalton to Patriots, Jaguars before release

NFL rumors: Bengals shopped Andy Dalton to Patriots, Jaguars before release

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. 

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the Patriots and Jaguars both had interest in Dalton after he was released. Oddsmakers also pegged the Patriots as the betting favorite to land Dalton

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.

NFL Rumors: Patriots not among teams to pursue Andy Dalton in free agency?

NFL Rumors: Patriots not among teams to pursue Andy Dalton in free agency?

Was the New England Patriots' apparent interest in Andy Dalton overstated?

The Patriots emerged as betting favorites to land the veteran quarterback after the Cincinnati Bengals released him last Thursday, and a report emerged that New England was among the teams interested in signing him.

But according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the Patriots never pursued Dalton before he signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.

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Via Florio's Sunday mailbag:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, five teams pursued Dalton. None provided a direct path to a starting job in 2020. (This implies that the Patriots weren’t one of the five.)

ESPN's Mike Reiss suggested Friday that even if New England explored signing Dalton, it would be to "supplement" quarterback Jarrett Stidham, not supplant him as the starter.

Reading between the lines of Florio's report, it appears the Patriots truly believe in Stidham as their starter for 2020, a belief they reinforced by not taking a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Veteran backup Brian Hoyer and undrafted free agents J'Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke are the only other QBs on New England's roster. While the Patriots could sign another veteran QB in free agency, the fact that they didn't even pursue Dalton -- who signed a one-year, $7 million contract to be Dak Prescott's backup -- suggests they're comfortable with their QB room at the moment.

NFL Rumors: Andy Dalton signs one-year deal with Cowboys

NFL Rumors: Andy Dalton signs one-year deal with Cowboys

So much for that Andy Dalton-to-the-Patriots talk.

The former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback is headed to the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal worth $7 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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With only Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer on the Patriots' roster as starting QB options, there was plenty of speculation about Dalton signing with New England after he was released by Cincinnati on Thursday. The Patriots were pegged as odds-on favorites to sign Dalton, and the Cowboys weren't even listed.

Nonetheless, Dalton is set to serve as Dak Prescott's backup in 2020.

In 13 games last season, Dalton struggled mightily. The 32-year-old went 2-11, throwing for 3,494 yards to go with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.