Brace yourselves … quarterback-movement rumors are coming!
ESPN’s Dan Graziano peered into the future in search of something for something those of us who crave a look beyond the present. And with his piece sharing 20 rather bold predictions for the 2020 NFL offseason, Graziano does just that … and gets the Chicago Bears a new quarterback for next season.
Graziano predicts the Bears will decline the fifth-year option on Mitch Trubisky’s option to set him up for a make-or-break 2020 campaign. From there, Graziano pushes the idea of a seasoned veteran arriving to push, motivate, or even possibly beat Trubisky out for the starting gig. And for Graziano, that player is Andy Dalton.
Dalton, 32, is a three-time Pro Bowler with a respectable 88.0 passer rating in 128 starts with the Bengals. From 2011-15, Dalton was a driving force in leading his team to five consecutive postseason appearances. And in those years, Dalton averaged 3,742 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions on a per-16 game basis. Not bad! But even as the Bengals have fallen on lean times in the years since, Dalton continues to plug away. Since 2016, Dalton’s numbers on a per-16 game basis (3,873 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 12 interceptions) still look good. It’s just that the 18-32-1 record in games he has started leaves something to be desired.
For what it’s worth, Dalton still has a year left on his contract with the Bengals. But after benching Dalton on his birthday, it seems as if Cincinnati’s future won’t include Dalton for much longer.
Landing Dalton wouldn’t be the sexiest move out there. Not with Teddy Bridgewater set to hit free agency or Cam Newton on the cusp of hitting the open market. And we won’t even get into the pipe dream that is Tom Brady. But Dalton is the sensible type of pickup that would provide a logical bridge from Trubisky to a younger quarterback the team could build with in the future. But before the Bears even get to that point, they need someone who could take the field and give their championship-caliber defense a fighting chance at a Super Bowl. And since it is increasingly looking like Trubisky isn’t that guy, we’ll continue to keep our eyes peeled on possible targets for Chicago in the offseason.