Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has just one year left on his deal, as he’s set to make $986,027 in base salary this upcoming season. The Bengals have stated that they are looking to give a Colin Kaepernick-type contract to Dalton, but they could end up franchising him next offseason. While the Bengals have been careful to only loft praise on their QB, they haven’t exactly shown confidence in him as a true franchise QB, though I’m sure most people in their position would wait until his contract year to make a definitive statement on that.
Per sources close to CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, Dalton and the Bengals are not close to getting an extension done as “no progress” has been made on that front to this point. Dalton is still young at 26 and developing as a decision-maker, but he’s one of the most streaky quarterbacks in the NFL. He looked amazing at points last year, but he was almost as likely to deliver a horrible performance. Consistency is the key to being a reliable franchise QB, and it isn’t surprising if the Bengals aren’t sold on that yet. While Dalton did toss 33 TDs last year with a career-high 7.3 yards per attempt, his 20 interceptions have to be concerning.
La Canfora doesn’t “anticipate” the Bengals and Dalton agreeing to a deal this summer, meaning that both sides “likely” won’t talk about getting a deal done until January. This is a situation definitely worth monitoring, and I think the Bengals are taking a prudent, wait-and-see approach. If Dalton plays well enough, I’m sure they’ll be happy to pay him (though they would have to put in some safeguards into the deal in case it was a fluky contract season) franchise QB money if he proves himself.