Posted by Jack Tumen
We all knew they’d do it; we all knew the Bengals were dumb enough to pay Andy Dalton.
Upon the news of Dalton’s new six-year, $115 contract extension, I could only chuckle to myself. It was sad news that overshadowed other sad news about David Wilson’s career being over. While one player (Wilson) should still be playing had he not been misused by his head coach, the other player (Dalton) had his career extended when in all honesty it didn’t warrant much extension.
In the wake of illustrious quarterback contracts like Colin Kaepernick’s and impending ones like Russell Wilson’s, Cincinnati must have felt a little left out that their quarterback didn’t have a shiny new nine-figure contract.
Looking at the numbers, it’s a relatively team-friendly deal; structured much like Kaepernick’s, Dalton gets paid year-to-year based on his performance but will make $18 mil. guaranteed in the first year. In-fact, Dalton is getting more guaranteed money than Kaepernick, who’s taken his team to a Super Bowl and a conference championship game in his first two years as his team’s starter.
But forget all the numbers; forget the year-to-year incentives and the signing bonuses; even forget the guaranteed money. The fact of the matter is that Cincinnati paid a nice chunk of change to a quarterback that hasn’t proved diddly-squat in the NFL. He’s been good enough to keep the Bengals treading water during the regular season while they ride their exceptional defense to the playoffs each year – but once he’s gotten there; 0 wins, 3 losses, 1 touchdown, 6 interceptions and a QBR of 18.1. 18.1! That’s god awful! The last time this team won a playoff game, I was a cell in a sea of cells, 23 years ago – and the Bengals basically said “thanks for almost winning us a playoff game, Andy. We can settle for you.”
You know what the Bengals should be doing instead? Forcing Dalton to prove his worth by bringing in competition. By settling for “almost,” Dalton settles for “almost.” Cincinnati should be bringing in a veteran or even using a high draft pick on a young quarterback prospect to push Dalton and see what he’s made of; he should be forced to improve his game.
What’s even funnier to me is that Hue Jackson is now Cinci’s offensive coordinator. You know what kind of offense he runs? A run-heavy offense. Heck, if Dalton was actually any good, they’d have hired a pass-happy offensive coordinator to make him throw to that wonderful target he has in AJ Green. Instead, they’re essentially going to pay him more money to throw the ball less. That makes no fuckin’ sense.
But it seems as if the Bengals prefer to be an above-average regular season team rather than take the next step and start winning playoff games in the 21st century. It’s just another example of today’s over-paying sports world where teams are becoming slaves to their players and feeling inclined to pay them when they haven’t truly earned that money – like Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. He’s not even close to a max-contract type of player, but yet, he’s been maxed.
At the end of the day, Dalton got paid and we all move on. His level of play over his career certainly did not warrant a new contract in my eyes, but in the eyes of the Bengals, Andy had earned his Bengal stripes.