Andy Dalton‘s job is safe, according to a head coach whose job isn’t. If the Bengals decide not to give Marvin Lewis another new contract after his expires after Week 17 and a new coach comes in, what happens to Dalton?
Answer: Whatever the Bengals want to happen with Dalton.
His Kaepernick-style, year-to-year contract has only one year left of unallocated signing bonus money, making the cap hit associated with unloading him only $2.3 million in 2018. Keeping him would cost $13.9 million in cash, a figure that currently is creeping toward the bottom of the starting-quarterback pay scale.
Which may be fitting, since Dalton is currently creeping toward the bottom of the starting quarterback barrel. Through two games in 2017, Dalton has five turnovers, no touchdowns, fewer than 200 yards passing per game, and a passer rating of 47.2. That puts him behind every NFL quarterback other than Scott-Freakin’-Tolzien.
It eventually should put Dalton behind A.J. McCarron, and it could in time put Dalton out on the street. Unless the Bengals, who are notoriously careful with their money, decide that they’d rather pay $13.9 million for El Diablo that they know than roll out the cash or the draft-pick capital for el diablo that they don’t.