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Bengals roll the dice on Andy Dalton

The Cincinnati Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton agreed on a six year, 115 million dollar deal earlier today. Bengals roll the dice on Andy Dalton 

This agreement guarantees Dalton 25 million dollars in guaranteed money and increases his salary to 18 million going in to the 2014 season. This signing is a bode of confidence from Bengals owner Mike Brown, who was apparently confident that Dalton’s market value would go up after this season.

Dalton’s contract is the latest of long-term, expensive signings for teams trying to lock in their franchise quarterback.

In terms of structure, Dalton’s contract is expected to mirror that of Colin Kaepernick, This comes to the dismay of many, considering Kaepernick’s postseason success in just two years as a starter.

The Baltimore Ravens were  in the same predicament in 2012 with incumbent starter, Joe Flacco.  Flacco won the Super Bowl during his contract year and the Raven’s lack of leverage resulted in a 120 million dollar deal.

If the casual fan looks at how well the Bengals stack up against the rest of the AFC, it’s a fair bet to say that they have a chance of being a dark horse Super Bowl champion if Andy Dalton can guide them with consistent play.

To Dalton’s credit, he’s had a respectable amount of franchise QB traits. Dalton hasn’t missed a game since he’s been named the starter, his stats through three years rival 49ers great Joe Montana and he’s one of three QB’s in NFL history to throw for over 3,000 yards in his first three years as a starter.

Less than stellar postseason play has plagued Dalton so far and led many fans to doubt whether he  is the guy to take the Bengals to the next level. Dalton has amassed six interceptions and just one touchdown in three career playoff games and completed about 57 percent of his passes, as opposed to 61 percent in the regular season.

There are even bigger doubts in Cincinnati as to whether head coach Marvin Lewis is the right coach to take the Bengals to the next level.

After collecting 89 wins in 10 seasons and five playoff losses, Lewis may be fired if the Bengals don’t emerge as an AFC championship contender next year. If Lewis is fired, then new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson may also be let go, leaving the unproven Dalton as a fixture in the regime of a new head coach.

This is indeed a gamble by the Bengals and can either cement their status as contender for several years or put them within shouting distance of rebuilding

 

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