Report: Bengals benching Andy Dalton

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The Bengals weren’t ready to consider starting rookie Ryan Finley at quarterback after losing in Week Seven, but it seems going winless throughout the first half of their schedule was enough to make head coach Zac Taylor change his mind.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the Bengals will bench Andy Dalton and hand the reins of the offense over to Finley when they return from their bye to face the Ravens in Week 10.

Dalton leads the league in passing attempts and completions after the first eight weeks and has thrown for 2,252 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing over 60 percent of his passes. That adds up to a passer rating of 79.2, which would be the lowest full season rating in Dalton’s eight-plus years as the Bengals starter.

Dalton, who turned 32 on Tuesday, is under contract for next year, but the Bengals can get out of the deal without any dead money on their salary cap. They could conceivably try to trade him before Tuesday afternoon’s deadline as well, although there’s no sign that such a move is in the cards.

Finley will presumably get the rest of the year to show that he’s capable of leading the offense in the future. Even if the fourth-round pick shows he can play, the Bengals may be in the market for a quarterback in the 2020 draft as they look like they’ll be picking quite early in the first round.

106 responses to “Report: Bengals benching Andy Dalton

  1. Ship him out. I’m sure some team who feels they are on the cusp/needs to save the season will give up a 3rd or 4th rounder for Dalton. He’s not elite or anything, but with some good players around him he can win you some games. Besides, he’s on the back 9 of his career and might enjoy playing for a team that could actually win a playoff game or two.

  2. Dalton hasn’t been great, but he’s not really the reason the team is as bad as it is. It’s going to be hard to evaluate Finley in that situation, but I think they’re ready to move on one way or another.
    Dalton will make a very nice backup somewhere.

  3. While he has made some poor decisions, you can’t blame Dalton too much with that dearth of talent around him.

  4. First it was Miami, now it’s Cincinnati in the tank. May the worse team win!

  5. Looks like Miami just got some serious competition on the Tua sweepstakes. #TankingForTua

  6. Dalton, while one of the many reasons why the Bengals are awful, is not the main issue. Finley will now get his chance running for his life behind that offensive line.

  7. Smart move for the Bengals, figure out if you want Finley as the future or if you wanna draft another QB high this year. Not like they really have anything to lose by benching dalton

  8. My issue with it is you’ll do this but are not willing to listen to any trade offers on veteran players. Finley coming in will not fix all the problems. The bengals are basically tanking but they’ve actually been trying to win which is the scary thing. The roster just is bad which is why it makes no sense to not try and get some picks for your veterans.

  9. I know Dalton wants to compete but it’s best for everyone if he sits. He’s not playing well and taking a beating in the process.

    He should take the rest of the season to get his head right and thank God he didn’t get hurt behind that line.

  10. man, over 30k passing yards and 197 touchdowns. Good career nowadays. 30 years ago these numbers would be amazing, now they seem pedestrian.

  11. I always have a soft spot for QBs who aren’t very good but somehow cobble together a long run as an NFL starter. Good job Andy, you beat the odds.

  12. He has a $17.5M cap hit next year. That’s about as low as it goes for a starting QB, outside of rookie contracts and journeyman. That alone should give him moderate trade value.

  13. Heat Miser being shown the bench. The Raiders should pull a double trade and move Derek Carr and acquire Heat Miser. Who played in Jon Gruden’s brother Jay Gruden’s offensive system for several years. So the transition to Oakland would be smooth.

  14. Feel sorry for that Finley kid, young man is gonna get destroyed out there. Probably would’ve been better off keeping Dalton as the starter since their season is over.

  15. They should have dumped the Red BB Gun 3 or 4 years ago when it was already clear he was never taking them to the promised land

  16. About time! Now trade Green and jump start the long overdue rebuilding process!

  17. Shouldn’t Joe Burrow be the guy that everyone is sucking for?

    Lets blow for Joe (or something like that.)

    There seems to be an unusual amount of QB talent in this draft. Burrow, Lawrence, Tua, Hurts. 4 guys that could all realistically be worthy of being drafted #1.

  18. Thought he would get through week 12, as you want to evaulate all players with a rookie head coach. No use putting Ross or Green this year, Erickson and Tate have played well.

    Got a bad break with the 1st rd pick not playing this year.

  19. cjmcfootball says:
    October 29, 2019 at 1:14 pm
    Dalton hasn’t been great, but he’s not really the reason the team is as bad as it is. It’s going to be hard to evaluate Finley in that situation, but I think they’re ready to move on one way or another.


    Agreed, but a QB who has “it” can elevate the play of those around him. Andy has lost 15/16 games now. Losing close games… Missing throws, multiple batted balls at the line every game…he doesn’t have “it”. Finley appeared to have pocket savvy in the preseason- it will be interesting to see what he can do.

  20. Finley looked really good in preseason, so at least there is some hope.

    Could be the next Gardner Minshew or Kyle Allen in leading their team to multiple wins. Or he could be the next Dwayne Haskins and look complete lost out there.

    Either way, he’s got his chance. Good luck.

  21. This is front page news. Being a Seahawk fan, I feel for Bengal fans. It’s a joke how the financials are run….Seattle is fluid….Cinci is broke trying to work around Walmart.

  22. Carson Wentz’s Inflated Wallet says:
    October 29, 2019 at 1:12 pm
    This is Carson Wentz in the near future.

    Wentz has been a top 10 QB since his rookie season and was the best QB in the NFL in 2017. Dalton hasn’t even been a top 15 QB since 2015. 6 of the losses with Wentz over the past two years have been due to the pass defense blowing leads or ties late.

    Wentz since his rookie year vs Dalton over that same time

    Wentz: 98.7 rating, 68td/18int (20-12 record, 2017 MVP runner-up)
    Dalton: 84.2 rating, 55td/31int (11-23 record)

    First three seasons for each QB + first 8 of fourth season

    92.7 rating, 63.5 comp %, 84td/32int (48 games)
    Since rookie year: 98.7 rating, 64.2 comp %, 68td/18int (32 games)

    83.3 rating, 59.7 comp %, 87td/53int (56 games)
    Since rookie year: 85.2 rating, 62.7 comp %, 64td/40int (40 games)

    So not sure how your comparison even makes sense. Wentz is much better and has far less around him. Dalton had AJ Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Jermaine Greshman. He also had Cedric Benson, who had back to back 1000 yard rushing seasons and Jeremy Hill, a 1000 yard RB during his first 3 1/2 seasons.

  23. Ryan Finley is a great young QB. Should have been the overall #1 pick. He can’t do everything by himself, but at least the Bengals have a bright future.

  24. He’s all done in Cincinnati maybe Cleveland would want him since Danny Dangerous isn’t all that he claims to be

  25. Dalton isn’t the greatest QB out there, but I don’t think any QB behind that line is going to survive long enough to find out if they are any good or not.

  26. This year has shown that some of these lower drafted QBs just need a chance to show they can play. Best case scenario is he plays well and The Bengals can use their high draft pick on someone else. Next best is he’s awful and they need to use the high pick on a QB. Absolute worst case scenario (and therefore most likely to happen to this team) is that he’s average enough that Mike Brown says he doesn’t need to draft a QB high and in a few years we’re looking at him like we look at Dalton (“he’s not the worst, but man he’s not near the best”)

  27. The Bengals are using their #1 pick next year on a QB. I don’t care what this new kid does in a few games.

    They are going QB.

    Dalton is done in Cincy. Should have never been the starter except because of injury to a real #1 guy. They just wasted 8.5 years on the Red Rocket and got nothing to show for it even though they had some talent on that teams for a number of years, including a good defense for half his time in the league.

    Never won a playoff game (0-6). Scored 16 points in one playoff game and scored 10 points in the other 5. That’s a playoff average of 11 points a game.

    The lesson is that if you have a decent QB who can win a few games but not win it all, you had better figure out how to get a good QB as fast as you can. KC should be the model. They had Alex Smith and got rid of him because they knew he wouldn’t win a trophy and they moved up and got Mahomes.

    Most teams are too scared to do that. Cincy obviously is.

  28. Too bad they can’t bench Mike Brown and the rest of his relatives in the front office. There’s a book that could be about them…”A Confederacy of Dunces”.

  29. Now that’s gonna bring the fans back to the stadium way to go clueless owner I guess Finley is faster than Dalton at running for his life!

  30. Dalton will end up as a journeyman for the rest of his career. In the NFL you either have a great QB or you have nothing. Dalton is not great.

  31. Andy Dalton is as much the problem in Cincy as Baker Mayfield is in Cleveland. Can’t blame the car if the person driving doesn’t know what they’re doing. Both guys have regressed after regime changes to coaches who have 0 experience as head coach finding out they’re in over their heads.

  32. @factschecker
    Lawrence was a true freshman last year, so he won’t be draft eligible until next season. Separately, it’s tough to pass on Fields from OSU, but I certainly understand the need to get a franchise QB.
    Benching Dalton won’t help them win games. Maybe Brown should come to his senses and trade for draft picks.

  33. factschecker says:
    October 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm
    Shouldn’t Joe Burrow be the guy that everyone is sucking for?

    Lets blow for Joe (or something like that.)

    There seems to be an unusual amount of QB talent in this draft. Burrow, Lawrence, Tua, Hurts. 4 guys that could all realistically be worthy of being drafted #1.


    Lawrence will not be eligible to enter the 2020 draft. Lawrence and Justin Fields will be eligible for 2021 draft. Miami will take Tua, it’s almost a given.

  34. When they find a QB who can get them to the playoffs the first five years of his career, as Dalton did, then they can start talking about upgrading.

  35. The losses fall on the Owner, GM, and coaching staff. Dalton doesn’t put together the team. If I were the Chargers I’d be a buyer.

  36. send andy to Denver for a 3rd round pick in 2020 draft. trade Cordy to anyone for a 6th round pick. They need to run razzle dazzle type plays to get mixon to the outside edges in order to use his ability. the o line could’nt open a hole for him if they were in a Mack truck, or they could’nt block their way out of a wet paper fitzpatrick, geno and carlos and play the kids the rest of the year, then take all of their draft picks and let bill belichick show them how to run a draft. JUST SAYING.
    Mike Brown = there is still 41 minutes left until the deadline. do something good for the fans
    for a change.

  37. Chase Young should be their first pick next year. A QB with 2nd pick. Trade someone and have two first round picks.

  38. Shore up the offensive line before even thinking of drafting another QB. You just drafted Finley who looked good pre-season… with him for a couple yrs. if it doesn’t work Trevor Lawrence will be coming out in 2 yrs.

  39. Good guy for sure, but this move is well overdue and actually should have been undertaken a few years ago. A big part of the Bengals problem in general as a franchise is they’re just too sluggish and slow to make definitive decisions about any number of things.

  40. It must burns to a bengals fan. Here it is multiple teams made serious offers to trade for Green and eifert and they outbid themselves only to bench dalton and risk losing green next year. And dnt tell me “green wants to stay”. 0-16 it is then

  41. kevpft says:
    October 29, 2019 at 3:06 pm
    When they find a QB who can get them to the playoffs the first five years of his career, as Dalton did, then they can start talking about upgrading.

    Yeah, five appearances with top 10 defenses and his offense put up a total of 56 points and didn’t win any of those games!

    What good is it to get to the playoffs if you have zero chance of winning in the playoffs? It’s the worst possible scenario! You get beat in your last game AND you get shoved down the draft order so you have less chance of effecting a radical change on the roster to actually win a title.

    If you want to win it all, you almost have to have a top end QB. Dalton isn’t one. You can also have a monsterous defense that covers all sins, but they never quite got there either. But Cincy did have defenses good enough to win it all but the QB was never good enough.

  42. Long over due. No hard feelings or hate towards Andy. He is who he is. He’ll win you a few games. He can take you to the playoffs but thats it..Its not entirely his fault the teams crumbled. Its the stinkin Front Office! They suck big time!
    Andy is a good man. He’s done a lot of good things for the City of Cincy especially the underprivilege and special needs kids in our community and in Buffalo NY, he put a smile on their faces BUT as a QB it was time for him to go. It just sucks that Organization let him get beat up physically and mentally before making the call. And the worst of all, it was his birthday..Some classless people in that front office
    All the best AD. And hope my fellow fans bounce back emotionally.
    Who Dey

  43. Andy is not as bad as this team makes him look. He’ll be a fit somewhere and flourish with an O-Line. Hopefully he gets that opportunity. I won’t go as far as to say he will turn into a big game winning QB, but man, he’s better than some of the junk being tossed out there and he would make a seriously good backup on a contending team.

  44. It’s funny how is so obsessed with Carson Wentz! If Wentz is so bad why does he live in your head rent free? Also you created a sock puppet just to show how much you hate him? Really? LOL

  45. Doesn’t matter who they throw out there until they improve that line. All this goes is appease the Dalton haters and puts Finley in the position to get crushed. I really hope Finley plays well because if they can keep from.ruiming him he will be a solid backup for whoever they draft to replace Dalton

  46. I would find being a fan of Cincinnati unbelievably frustrating.

    More than any other team in the league they seem confident and fully committed to their approach despite the fact that it has made them a laughing stock for a generation. Holding onto players who will walk at season’s end during a winless campaign? What are they doing? How can you possibly not trade for draft picks and try to rebuild?

    All led by the genius Mike Brown, born on 3rd, convinced he hit a triple.

  47. I know most people on here know everything about running a team better than their owners and front offices. This gets pretty comical. Dalton needed benched. He has time to throw. Even with this line, he has time. As a matter of fact, PFF said he has the 7th most time to throw in the league. The line can’t run block. With double TE sets, they can run the ball. As far as Dalton, he’s regressed. He throws, behind the receivers whenever he’s not throwing it over their heads. He misses throws and takes sacks that he shouldn’t take. Last week against the Rams, the TV guys were saying it all day. “You can’t take a sack there”. Over and over! The Rams came clean on him once of the 5 sacks.

    It’s very unfortunate. They have a rookie coach and coaching staff. Implementing new styles and methods. They wanted to win with these guys. It didn’t happen. No excuses, figure out how to get some victories. If it takes moving on from all the vets, maybe flushing the bowl and starting anew is a great thing. The team is overall very young. Young receivers, young TE’s, young linemen, young LB’s, Young Db’s(other than Kirkpatrick and Webb). Geno is needed. He just puts his head down and goes. I agree we should have traded Green, Dunlap, Eifert, Kirkpatrick, Glenn, and Dalton. Draft Chase Young and get a QB if Finley isn’t the answer. Load up in the draft. Let’s see what this new staff can put together. I don’t begrudge them some time to put it together. They’ve put game plans out there to beat some teams and the players, namely Andy, didn’t push enough to get it done. Simple as that. Sad thing is, the fickle Bengals fans that blame every issue on the 90 year old guy at the top won’t accept anything but a super bowl win. And honestly, I don’t think that would stop the condemnation.

    Here’s to a better second half! Who Dey!!

  48. 4th round picks rarely turn out to be franchise quarterbacks. There are a few exceptions of low picks that did good, Brady, Wilson etc, but the odds are very low.

  49. It’s amazing, driving around Cincy 4-5 years ago, Dalton was on billboards everywhere. Now those same billboards are like…”ehhh…visit our zoo!”

  50. You know zilch. Matt Stafford is a great, great player.

    thewizardsrevenge says:
    October 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    This is Carson Wentz in the near future.

    Ditto Matt Stafford

  51. tonyzendejas says:
    October 30, 2019 at 6:45 am
    It’s amazing, driving around Cincy 4-5 years ago, Dalton was on billboards everywhere. Now those same billboards are like…”ehhh…visit our zoo!”
    Cincinnati does have a terrific zoo!

  52. Bengals have Mixon – why is Dalton leading the league in pass attempts? That’s not a winning formula no matter WHO the QB is.

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