Nine years after the Bengals drafted him, Andy Dalton is expecting the Bengals to draft his replacement with the first overall pick next week. Beyond that, he doesn’t know what to expect.
Dalton says he doesn’t know whether the Bengals will keep him as a veteran mentor to their rookie franchise quarterback, trade him or release him. But he does trust the Bengals to do right by him.
“I truly believe they want what’s best for me, but I understand it’s a business, and you know how that goes,” Dalton told NFL Media. “With the first pick, if they take a quarterback like everyone expects, that could trigger something. There’s even a scenario where I go back there.”
If 2019 turns out to have been Dalton’s final season in Cincinnati, it wasn’t a good one. He was briefly benched for Ryan Finley as the Bengals played poorly enough to earn the first overall pick.
“It wasn’t the ideal situation — being benched in the middle of the year, and then being brought back in,” Dalton said. “I didn’t agree with [the benching], obviously, and I voiced that. But it was one of those things where I said to myself, ‘If it does come back to me, I’m gonna try to make the most of it.’”
Whether Dalton is making the most of it in Cincinnati or elsewhere remains to be seen.