Following his recent benching, Andy Dalton was feeling fiery, almost as fiery as his hair colour. Dalton revealed in a locker room interview that he wished Bengals head coach Zac Taylor had informed him of his benching earlier in the season, allowing Dalton and his agent to explore possible trades. Dalton explained: “It happened three hours before the trade deadline… if he was thinking about it… at least let me see if I could end up somewhere else or at least see if there was interest in possibly getting traded”.

Dalton’s contract with the Bengals expires in 2021, so it’s a possibility that the red rocket gets traded this offseason. Despite playing behind a dumpster fire of an offensive line and on an 0-8 team, Dalton has thrown for 2252 yards, 9 touchdowns with a 60.4% completion percentage on a average yards per attempt of 6.7. Although he hasn’t set the world on fire, Dalton’s play has been respectable considering the circumstances. He is not the main reason the Bengals are losing games.

Per the infamous ‘Dalton line’, the Bengals QB is the most average quarterback in the NFL, something a lot of teams would take right now. Here we take a look at which teams may trade for Andy Dalton this summer.

Chicago Bears

Even before Dalton’s benching, there were suggestions that the Bears should trade for him. Currently, the Bears stand at 3-4 and bottom of the NFC North. The Bears’ main issue is at the quarterback position. Sure, their historic 2018 defence regressed to the norm this season and Matt Nagy’s play calling and game management might have wavered at points this year, but Mitch Trubisky is biggest issue holding back the Bears right now.

If Dalton were to land in Chicago then he will have a litany of offensive weapons at his disposal. A backfield consisting of David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen joined by receiving options Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and TE Trey Burton. Dalton was able to play at a borderline MVP level in 2015. On offence that year the Bengals possessed a capable offensive line, Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard at running back, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones Jr. and Mohammed Sanu and WR with Tyler Eifert at TE.

       

Dalton’s best chance to succeed is in Chicago. If GM Ryan Pace can bite the bullet and admit he got the Trubisky pick wrong then Dalton and the Bears can be a good match.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time appears to be running out for 2015 first overall pick Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay. Reports are coming out of Tampa that the Buccaneers are losing patience with Winston and are considering moving on from him this offseason.

Similar to the Bears, the Buccs possess a stout defence (number one against the run this year) and a talented offence. Watching Winston turn the ball over week after week while Mike Evans and Chris Godwin twiddle their thumbs wondering what it would be like to have a competent QB throwing them the ball. Winston’s tendency to force plays that aren’t there has cost the Buccs more than once. And even if the GM is secretly a Jameis fanatic, that may not save him in Tampa Bay if the turnovers keep coming.

Tennessee Titans

Operating as Tampa Bay’s parallel, the Titans have also come to rue their number two overall selection in the 2015 draft. This season saw the benching of Marcus Mariota in favour of Ryan Tannehill. Whether or not Tannehill is the long term answer at QB for the Titans is yet to be seen, although I’m willing to give myself the benefit of the doubt considering Tannehill’s reputation of not living up to expectations.

If the Titans do indeed cut Mariota free and decide not to re-sign him this offseason then Dalton would be a viable option for head coach Mike Vrabel to pursue. However, if the Titans decide to keep Tannehill and re-live the Marcus Mariota experience then so be it. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

To sum up, more than a few teams would appreciate having a quarterback at the level of Andy Dalton on their team. While there is some credence to the belief that Dalton plays to the level his surrounding talent, Dalton can be a contributor on a lot of ‘almost there’ teams. It is likely that Taylor waited until so close to the deadline to bench Dalton because he wants to keep him in the building. The odds are that Finley performs like a fourth round rookie and Dalton is back under centre by Week Twelve.

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