After winning just two games in the 2019 season, the Bengals have the number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The prevailing thought is that they will draft a new franchise quarterback with that pick. That likely jeopardizes Andy Dalton’s future with the team. Here are five potential landing spots for Andy Dalton.
1. Chicago Bears
The Bears did not have a good season on the offensive side of the ball. Mitch Trubisky struggled and Matt Nagy had trouble calling the offense. With Nagy back, it is more likely that he will try to find a new quarterback than fix his play-calling.
Dalton isn’t the greatest quarterback, but he has played solidly in the past. If he can recapture that, he could help make the Bears into a contender. If Nagy thinks they can acquire Dalton in exchange for a mid-round draft pick, Dalton could be a Bear.
2. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers had Philip Rivers this season, but he didn’t play his best. It will be hard for them to move on, but they could. They have the sixth overall pick and could select a rookie quarterback. If they still want to compete though, they could go after Dalton.
Dalton won’t carry any team, but he will fit in well on a team with talent. The Chargers have a roster that could do well with Dalton at quarterback. They have offensive weapons and some good defensive players as well. If Rivers or a rookie quarterback isn’t in the plans for the Chargers, Dalton could be their guy.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
While it sure looks like the Bengals will select Joe Burrow, they could change their minds. The best player in the 2020 NFL Draft is Chase Young. Cincinnati could select him and build around him for the future. This would allow them to pick a quarterback in the next few years to develop.
Even if they select Burrow, they could still keep Dalton to mentor him. He didn’t seem too eager to mentor Ryan Finley this season, but with time to process things he could be a good teammate to Burrow, while he awaits his next chance.
4. Carolina Panthers
Matt Rhule was just named head coach of the Panthers and has some decisions to make at the quarterback position. Cam Newton has been injured the last two seasons and may not want to be in Carolina anymore. Will Grier and Kyle Allen both struggled down the stretch.
If Rhule wants to start fresh, but get a decent veteran, he could go after Dalton. Dalton would be able to have decent success with Christian McCaffrey in the backfield with him. The Panthers may be able to compete in the NFC South again.
5. New England Patriots
Tom Brady has said he is coming back to play football next season. He just hasn’t been able to negotiate with the Patriots yet. If something goes wrong, their top quarterback is Jarrett Stidham. Stidham is not ready to lead the Patriots to victory.
Dalton would be a stop-gap quarterback for the Patriots if Brady isn’t back. He would give them time to find the quarterback of the future, while still allowing the Patriots to be competitive. If anyone can get the best out of Dalton, it would be Bill Bellichick.