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.