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Mike Brown wonders whether deal for Andy Dalton’s wise

Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis AP

We noted last night the qualified support Bengals owner Mike Brown had for a new contract for quarterback Andy Dalton.

It was well short of the vote of confidence coach Marvin Lewis has offered, and the longer you look at Browns words, the clearer it becomes the Bengals are still in decision-making mode.

“More often than not you don’t win overpaying a guy,” Brown said, via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “With quarterbacks there is another dilemma. With a fixed cap there is a certain amount of money and no more. You allocate that on a quarterback you have less to hand out to everybody else. It can cause attrition. We are going through a difficult time right now because we are trying to work through a deal with Andy and trying to hold back enough money in the cap to do that, yet we don’t know what that is. . . .

“Do you have a high-priced quarterback and less elsewhere or do you try to have as many guys as you can have and maybe a quarterback that is young and not so highly paid? Seattle, for example of that. In fact, you look at the statistics it is rather surprising how few quarterbacks that are old in recent years — saying over 30 — have won the Super Bowl. They’ve gotten there but they haven’t won it. I don’t know is that better formula to go with a younger guy and spread the money around? That’s a dilemma for us. We are trying to work through it. It’s slow going. I can’t predict when we are going to get that matter resolved.”

The Seahawks and 49ers and Colts (and to a lesser degree the Panthers) are able to keep competitive groups together because they have good quarterbacks at controlled prices.

Dalton has proven to be good, but not great. He’s the only quarterback in franchise history to lead the team to three straight playoff appearances, but he’s been terrible when he gets there (one touchdown to six interceptions).

Brown’s question becomes whether another quarterback could muster the same kind of results for less money, or whether he should invest heavily in a known commodity, which could cost them the margin Dalton needs to keep them in the playoffs.

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61 Responses to “Mike Brown wonders whether deal for Andy Dalton’s wise”
  1. chrisk61 says: Mar 24, 2014 9:31 AM

    cinc’s window has closed. 3 consecutive playoff appearances, zero wins. think of atlanta, although they managed to win 1 in the ryan era (and nearly lost that one). their only hope is that rest of afc north is bad.

  2. cincyfredo says: Mar 24, 2014 9:33 AM

    Mike Brown is smart. I would not give Andy Dalton $100 million over 5 years. Dalton just ain’t that good. He is very average. Bengals have some great players and most Bengal fans feel Dalton has held us back in the playoffs. Get 1 more cheap year out of him and then let him leave.

  3. flaccodelic says: Mar 24, 2014 9:37 AM

    “More often than not you don’t win overpaying a guy,” Brown said.

    And if there’s one guy out there who knows what it takes to not win, it’s Mike Brown!

  4. valentino8100 says: Mar 24, 2014 9:40 AM

    I don’t think so Mike. There are so many devices available with which to manipulate the cap, it’s far more likely that your are simply pinching that penny for all it’s worth. Tell me what else is new in Cincy.

  5. jetfan74 says: Mar 24, 2014 9:41 AM

    Maybe the NFL should try a max cap on players salaries, kinda like the NHL. That might alleviate some of the problems that a team has keeping or losing free agents. Here’s to all the team killing QB’s out there. Cheers!!!!

  6. couchbasher says: Mar 24, 2014 9:42 AM

    Go ahead make Jason Campbell your starter…

    Signed,

    Cleveland Browns

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 24, 2014 9:45 AM

    It doesn’t sound like Mike Brown has any clue what to do. This is just ONE player. He is confused to infinity and beyond by this ONE player. But there’s also 53 players you need to complete a roster and it’s very complicated to figure out how to build and run a football team. The bottom line is why is he spinning his wheels instead of figuring out who to put in charge to figure out the decision for him. This team hasn’t done anything like ever, and it should be about time for him to realize that doing the same thing over and over and over again is only going to get similar results, but not the best results, and not a Super Bowl competitor on a yearly basis. He needs to think bigger and about the bigger picture issues.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 24, 2014 9:49 AM

    Even with playoff losses and all, I still think they should give him a long-term deal. And money should be no object. There’s no denying he’s a perfect fit for the bengals.

  9. troy43mvp says: Mar 24, 2014 9:49 AM

    Fun Fact…The Bengals last won a playoff game in 1990. Wilson Phillips song Hold On was the #1 song of the year.

  10. steelerdeathstar says: Mar 24, 2014 9:51 AM

    This seems to be a rare instance where Mike Brown may actually have a valid point about putting together his team.
    It’s a tricky situation, and jetfan74 may also be onto something, with a ‘max-cap’ on player salaries…maybe with a scale similar to the one used for rookies entering the league, but higher, of course? The NHL does use a system like that, it it seems to work pretty well…

  11. southpaw2k says: Mar 24, 2014 9:57 AM

    Kinda speaks volumes about how the organization views Dalton if entering the final year of his rookie contract they aren’t sold on him.

    If Mike Brown opts to dump Dalton, he’s setting his franchise back another 3 years easily. He may still ante up to pay AJ Green, but not finding that franchise QB will handcuff the team for the foreseeable future.

  12. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 24, 2014 9:57 AM

    Great plan. Draft a new starting quarterback every four years so you never have to pay the guy. That’s what Indianapolis and Seattle would do if they were smart.

  13. mysterytonite says: Mar 24, 2014 9:57 AM

    Here is the pisser: You want to wait and see with Dalton for another year fine. However, with 26 million under the cap, give thee money to the guy that you know you want here another 5 years in A.J. Green.

    Yes he has another year plus an option for another after but lock him up now and extend the good faith with him. You can see how frustrated Green is in playing with Dalton moping back to the huddle on many plays that could have been big gainers if his noodle arm didn’t fail. Green is a top three stud wr and is the only reason Dalton is considered a serviceable starter.

    It would be real nice if the draft wasn’t saturated with poor pro prospects at the qb postition this year or I would say draft one early. It looks like they are going to have to wait it out until next season. I agree with Brown though, I wouldn’t pay Dalton a big deal and if I had to, I would make it as to have some type of opt out clause in a year or two.

    Not that it matters, Brown has sealed the fate of this team by letting Zimmer walk and not having Marvin step down and take the gm position. This team will take a step back this season with two new coordinators to break in imo.

  14. dickjagger says: Mar 24, 2014 9:58 AM

    All the QB’s (Wilson, Kap, Luck) on all those teams mention are in rookie deals and will expect HUGE CONTRACTS! I heard Kap is already seeking 18 mil a year. If you have a QB take you to the Super Bowl and win you have to pay the guy. Something Brown obviously doesn’t understand.

  15. rockyburnette says: Mar 24, 2014 10:03 AM

    The NFL and the NFLPA should discuss capping single player annual comp. There is a finite sum per team going to union members. Limiting one player to 10% of the cap frees up dollars for the rest of the roster and should increase competitiveness. It would be good for the league, the fans and the vast majority of the players.

  16. edukator4 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:03 AM

    that is one problem the nfl is facing. they want their qbs to be the faces of the league, but those that are good enough to qualify for that distinction will begin to cripple their teams’ chances with their contracts.

  17. jacobslatter says: Mar 24, 2014 10:03 AM

    Ginger Snaps.

  18. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Mar 24, 2014 10:04 AM

    Why would the Bengal’s owner want to make a deal for another guy’s wise?

  19. whodey1982 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:11 AM

    Let’s just go ahead and call this what it is: Mike Brown posturing. He claims to be concerned with the “fixed cap,” yet he never even comes close to reaching it.

    Honestly, I hope Mike Brown low balls Dalton and loses. It’d be a win-win. Andy would be gone AND Mikey B. would get the middle finger.

    I just hope we accidentally draft a beast of a QB at some point, because it’s becoming clear that we can’t scout them (unless we have the #1 overall pick, and even then it’s a crap shoot).

  20. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 24, 2014 10:15 AM

    Smartest thing would be to dump Dalton and insert the back-up. What’s the worst case scenario? You might play one less game than you did with Dalton. Big deal.

  21. drdoom82 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:17 AM

    Thought he was the red rifle…awww

    #Steeler Nation

  22. bullcharger says: Mar 24, 2014 10:19 AM

    Agree with some others here… biggest mistake the Bengals made was not making Zimmer the HC and moving Lewis to the GM role. Losing Gruden isn’t so bad.

    They can’t screw this up… Dalton has been horrible in the playoff games, but he’s been good in many games over the last 3 years and he’s put the Bengals in good position. I think he badly suffers from poor situational football decisions by Lewis and someone needs to teach the kid to throw it away and take sacks sometimes. They have a good defense for goodness sake.

    They need to invest as much as they need to to keep Dalton happy because the alternative sucks. If they want to look for another QB in the meantime they can, but Dalton is better than many of the QBs in the league and he’s helped them get 3 playoff spots in a row. He needs to get over the hump, and better coaching would have given him a shot, but I think he can even without a better coach. The Bengals are still better on paper than the Ravens and Steelers right now. They have a chance again.

  23. ravenswhat says: Mar 24, 2014 10:24 AM

    Mike PLEASE sign Andy to a huge multi year deal.

    Sincerely,

    Any playoff opponent for the rest of his career.

  24. steelerben says: Mar 24, 2014 10:27 AM

    The current CBA allows you to roll over unspent money toward the cap into the following season, and allows for this indefinitely.

    It might be smart for teams like Seattle or Indy that have obviously found their guys and those guys are going to get expensive, to start treating it like they are already at higher salaries and rolling over funds to cover the bigger numbers.

    If your team can’t be competitive with them at the higher numbers, they aren’t worth keeping. If they can be, then you can roll over the numbers to halve the impact and increase the amount that you have left to spend improving the roster elsewhere.

    A max salary, like the NHL or NBA makes perfect sense. The player’s union would NEVER accept it.

  25. z06vision says: Mar 24, 2014 10:28 AM

    “but he’s been terrible when he gets there (one touchdown to six interceptions).”

    and how many superbowls have they won? ZERO

  26. chetlemon79 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:30 AM

    Its probably wise not to give Dalton a lot of money but Mike Brown and the Bengals organization are soooooooo cheap. Costanza level cheap.

  27. realskipbayless says: Mar 24, 2014 10:32 AM

    Lots of smack talk to a team that’s been in the playoffs the past few years and on their way back again. We may not be able to win a playoff game but we know how to make sure the ravens,Steelers or browns arent there.

  28. phillyshouldsignmaclin says: Mar 24, 2014 10:38 AM

    Being that the NFL is often a QB driven league, the QB should be outside the cap..

  29. godofwine330 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:40 AM

    Well Dalton is clearly not a $20M man, or even an $18M man. I’d work out a contract between $14-$16M with playoff wins and a Super Bowl clause increasing the payout. Win playoff game and it bumps to $15, $250k per playoff win maxing out at $1M, another $2M for a Super Bowl win. It can be done.

  30. cfeeley52 says: Mar 24, 2014 10:42 AM

    Part ways with the red headed squirt gun, he’ll never get you past the first round. The only people you’ll make happy signing him long term is the rest of the AFCN.

  31. iamedreed says: Mar 24, 2014 10:44 AM

    whats really comical about cheap skate mike brown talking about 1 player taking up the majority of the ‘fixed’ cap as he calls it is the fact that the bengals NEVER spend all the way up to the cap limit

    just be honest and admit you don’t give a crap about winning and care more about fatting your pockets

  32. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 24, 2014 10:49 AM

    $1000 that mike brown signs Andy Dalton.

    If you don’t get it… you shouldn’t be typing.

  33. mountaindont says: Mar 24, 2014 10:50 AM

    Mike Brown has been the worst owner in terms of running a team for the past 20 years. Just about every good player they have had for the past 20 years has ended up wanting out of cincy.

  34. willycents says: Mar 24, 2014 11:21 AM

    Makes sense to me. I am certain that Oakland, Miami, Minnesota, etc. would dump a qb that took them to the playoffs three consecutive times but lost in the playoffs. By that line of reasoning, NE should dump that loser Brady, he has lost in the playoffs for ten years now. Maybe Pitt should get rid of Rothlesburger; He doesn’t win the super bowl every year either. Get real folks, 31 teams do not win the super bowl every year.

  35. elliottcovert says: Mar 24, 2014 11:23 AM

    Mike Brown seriously has no interest in winning in and of itself. He’s only concerned with selling tickets, and if he can do that while just treading water he’s fine with that.

  36. ajgreenhof says: Mar 24, 2014 11:23 AM

    There are two types of people who have opinions about Mike Brown.

    The ones who live in the present.

    The ones who are still bent out of shape over the 90s.

  37. keem513 says: Mar 24, 2014 11:24 AM

    In other words he doesnt think dalton is worth the money and he is contemplating starting all over and drafting a guy he feels might earn the money

  38. bengalsucker says: Mar 24, 2014 11:27 AM

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Mike Brown would be THRILLED to sign Andy for cheap. Andy is good enough to help us get to playoffs and keep fan hopes alive. But not good enough to take us farther so then Mike Brown isn’t on the hook for Super Bowl QB money. But Andy is definitely not going to sign cheap so that’s why Mike isn’t sure a deal can be made. Make no mistake, the reason Mike is wavering is not at all bc of Andy’s lack of ability to play in big games. It’s entirely bc of money. If Andy wants too much, Mike won’t pay it. And he can refer to Andy’s inability to play well in big games when he lowballs Andy and Andy questions the lowball.

  39. bengalsucker says: Mar 24, 2014 11:31 AM

    Willy is missing the point here. It’s not the fact that Andy isn’t making the Super Bowl or even the playoffs. After a while, it gets old continually making the playoffs and you can’t even win one playoff game. I’m tired of this argument “it could be so much worse”. Yeah it could. You’re right. So since it could be so much worse, we’re supposed to willingly settle for one and out in the playoffs every year? Unacceptable. After a while, there’s an expectation to go beyond the first game of the playoffs. We’re at that point.

  40. jtbsteeler says: Mar 24, 2014 11:49 AM

    I smell a return to Bungle land.

  41. ajgreenhof says: Mar 24, 2014 11:51 AM

    bengalsucker is one of the fans from 90’s I was talking about.

  42. hakunamangata says: Mar 24, 2014 11:58 AM

    It’s not.

    There, I solved the puzzle.

  43. bengalsbilly says: Mar 24, 2014 12:14 PM

    ajgreenhof hit it right on the head. It’s impossible for most long-term Bengals fans or most national commentators to separate the work done over the last few years from the incompetence of the 20 years prior. Is Andy Dalton good enough to win a Superbowl – I doubt it, but no one knows. I think Dalton is better than Trent Dilfer, so it’s possible.

  44. cfeeley52 says: Mar 24, 2014 12:19 PM

    realskipbayless says:
    Mar 24, 2014 10:32 AM
    Lots of smack talk to a team that’s been in the playoffs the past few years and on their way back again. We may not be able to win a playoff game but we know how to make sure the ravens,Steelers or browns arent there.
    ————————————-
    If you’re going to keep those teams out you have to represent for the AFCN by winning at least ONE playoff game. Instead, you made our entire division look weak by flopping. The Steelers and Ravens would have at least gotten past the first round, heck probably the browns too. The Bengals were nothing short of embarrassing in the playoffs last year. Keep patting yourself on the back for that…

  45. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Mar 24, 2014 12:26 PM

    We have been season ticket holders since 1982 and have lived through many of your poor decisions. Hire a GM and let him make that decision. Then go back in your hole!

  46. cfeeley52 says: Mar 24, 2014 12:27 PM

    willycents says:
    Mar 24, 2014 11:21 AM
    Makes sense to me. I am certain that Oakland, Miami, Minnesota, etc. would dump a qb that took them to the playoffs three consecutive times but lost in the playoffs. By that line of reasoning, NE should dump that loser Brady, he has lost in the playoffs for ten years now. Maybe Pitt should get rid of Rothlesburger; He doesn’t win the super bowl every year either. Get real folks, 31 teams do not win the super bowl every year.
    ——————————————–
    Yes, but at least 8 teams win a playoff game every year. We’re not asking him to win the superbowl, we’re asking him to win ONE playoff game. Something those other two QBs have done multiple times…

  47. phishan says: Mar 24, 2014 12:29 PM

    Maybe it isn’t the QB and it’s the coach? Get rid of Dalton? Compare his stats to other QBs after three years. He is highly ranked. But let’s start over and dump Dalton. How about we dump the coach and get one that can take us to the next level. Lewis 0-5 in playoffs. No other team in the NFL keeps a coach that is 0-5 in playoffs.

  48. avenger9800 says: Mar 24, 2014 12:32 PM

    The owners need to get together and put a cap on what every team can spend for a QB. Let’s say 50 mil for 5 years. 100 Mil for 5 years is a 2 big of a cap hit for all teams. That would give them extra $$$ for the good free agents that they can’t keep because of the cap limit.

  49. joetoronto says: Mar 24, 2014 12:38 PM

    Mike Brown is taking the cheap way out, and he always takes the cheap way out.

    He won’t resign him at all, he won’t give AJ Green a new deal and he’ll draft a QB and work him on his rookie deal.

    Mike Brown and the salary cap, LOL!

  50. shoesfinest says: Mar 24, 2014 12:45 PM

    So Mike wants to let Andy walk because he has an 0-3 Playoff record…..yet Marvin Lewis has been here for going on 12 years and has yet to win a playoff game? Yep that makes sense. Brown the Clown. Nothing ever changes in Cincinnati Bengal land….ever.

  51. arzcardinals says: Mar 24, 2014 12:51 PM

    Dalton is dang good. AZ fans can tell u what it looks like when ur QB is gone. No Warner no playoffs. IMO Dalton is awesome…better than Flacco. U gotta pay him over Green if it comes down to it. There’s cap space for both…if managed proper.

  52. bonniebengal says: Mar 24, 2014 12:55 PM

    You people saying Mike Brown doesn’t know how to negotiate are clueless. Brown is a lawyer and he knows how to get on the good side of a deal. Ask the Oakland Raiders and the city of Cincinnati.

  53. bighomiemathews24 says: Mar 24, 2014 12:56 PM

    The 5th time is the charm dalton !

  54. metalhead65 says: Mar 24, 2014 1:13 PM

    not a bengals fan but go ahead and not give him a contract extension, I am sure there are a few teams who would sign him to be the starter on their team. and after he leaves you can go back to being the bungles and not making the playoffs. the bottom line is like it or not you either pay now or pay latter.

  55. doctorrustbelt says: Mar 24, 2014 1:40 PM

    How about signing a REAL #2 wide receiver for Andy Dalton?!?

  56. mysterytonite says: Mar 24, 2014 2:20 PM

    Is this the reason why this team has been asleep during free agency? Mike Brown can only do one thing at a time and that is fretting and posing in an attempt to lowball Dalton into signing an inferior contract? He is killing this franchise by his inept and slow decision making. He is never ahead of the curve, these moves should have been anticipated and decided on months ago.

    If you are on the fence with Dalton fine, but sign some players around him to make the team better. You lost arguably your best pass rusher in Michael Johnson and best pass blocker in Anthony Collins. If you are going to let them walk fine, but man what about reupping your best offensive player (Green).

    I know Green has another year plus an option for a fifth but do you think that when his contract comes up and you have made him play out all 5 years that this guy is going to do you any favors at the negotiating table? I guarantee you that he will do everything in his power to get out unless he is bowled over by an unlikely Mike Brown offer. If Brown was smart, he has the money now, re up your best player, make him happy, show good faith that you value him and give him that security now. It would be easier plus it will most likely save him a few bucks. No wonder why players bad mouth the cheapness of this team on social media.

  57. bodybysnake says: Mar 24, 2014 2:48 PM

    Well I see the deluded in Bengalsville still exists, everyone calling for a failed HC with zero personnel experience to take over the operations of the Team. Why? This fantasy that Lewis is secretly running the draft behind Browns back is just that, a fantasy. Lets get back to reality, and the reality that Duke Tobin runs the Bengals Scouting Dept. it is his good job that has turned the draft around. Promoting Lewis to GM means dumping that to return to the Odell Thurman, Chris Henry, Hood rats getting arrested all offseason era, the actual track record Lewis has when he had say in personnel.

    That said, Andy Dalton. Well the Media has crafted the narrative that he is Tony Romo Jr, so everyone will no doubt parrot that for his career. The facts are far different. The fact is Dalton isn’t the issue, Marvin Lewis is. We were hearing this same crap with Carson Palmer. The reality is every playoff birth Lewis has had, all 5 were identical. Unprepared, out coached and a losing effort. The play calling has always sucked and not a single player has shown up prepared under the guy. It’s time Lewis, not Dalton, hits the road.

    Except that won’t happen. Mike Brown loves his giggling lapdog, Lewis has zero options anywhere else and thus no leverage. Marvy is Cinch till he retires. Sad, but be careful with the Dalton hate. I guarantee on a better team with better support the kid wins playoff games.

  58. jaygruntboston says: Mar 24, 2014 3:01 PM

    i’m with what someone else stated. his contract shouldn’t be at the very top, more average with incentives to win in the playoffs. he definitely needs incentives in there.

  59. bjames65 says: Mar 24, 2014 6:42 PM

    Trade Dalton to Minnesota or Cleveland for a first and third round pick.

  60. bjames65 says: Mar 24, 2014 6:48 PM

    They trade him they could pick up A.J. McCarron in the later rounds. He is similar to Dalton, but a better QB.

  61. voyager6 says: Mar 24, 2014 9:00 PM

    1. Setting a cap on player position is collusion and would instantly trigger a court challenge or a total dump of the current CBA.

    2. Mike Brown has never spent over the cap as a plan; refuses to back load contracts to create cap space (for the claimed reason of staying out of cap purgatory such as Pittsburgh and Baltimore have suffered in recent years); and he likes to roll over cap space from year to year. If I were cynical, I’d be suspicious that the purpose is to keep rolling indefinitely so he could effectively keep the roll. As a result, the inability to create a total team under the cap is solely HIS fault and he shouldn’t be whining about it.

    3) This is solely about posturing so Dalton might take less money.

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