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The Bears could have done a lot worse than Andy Dalton (and have)

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons analyze Andy Dalton’s comments about being the Chicago Bears’ starting QB, explain why the Bears are in need of a big 2021 season and assess if Dalton can come up big for the team.

As a friend who lives in Chicago recently remarked, the signing of Andy Dalton by the Bears has gone over like a “wet fart” in the Windy City. Still, the Bears could have done a lot worse than Dalton.

In recent years, they have.

Dalton actually has more wins since entering the league in 2011 than all of Chicago’s quarterbacks, 74 vs. 73. And Dalton has lost only 66 games, while the collective Bears quarterbacks have lost 89.

The Bears have been to the playoffs only twice since 2011. Dalton took the Bengals to the playoffs for five straight years. In 2015, the Bengals were in the mix for the top seed in the AFC until Dalton fractured a thumb while trying to make a tackle following an interception.

And yet for some reason Dalton is widely regarded as some sort of slappy. He’s not. And he ultimately was the best option the Bears had.

There was a report the Bears were interested in Jameis Winston. If they truly were, they easily could have had him for the same $10 million they’re paying Dalton. (Winston’s base package in New Orleans is only $5.5 million.) The Bears also gave Dalton a better contract than Washington gave Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Mitchell Trubisky took a job as a backup in Buffalo. If the Bears had wanted him instead of Dalton, they could have kept the second overall pick in 2017.

The best news for the Bears is that Dalton’s arrival lowers the bar in Chicago, reducing expectations for a team that made the playoffs in 2020. Another playoff appearance with Dalton at the helm will be viewed as a success, which surely will secure the ongoing employment of the G.M. who signed Dalton and the coach who’ll be working with him.