NFL Free Agency spotlight: Andy Dalton’s market for 2022

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /
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Pending free agent Andy Dalton is in the back nine of his career, but what will his market look like, especially with quarterback needy teams?

Quarterbacks in the NFL are so interesting.  While no one gets excited about someone like Andy Dalton starting for their team, his value as a player is rather high.

Dalton will never have an issue finding a job with an NFL for as long as he wants to continue playing.  After a mostly successful career with the Bengals, Dalton has latched on to the Cowboys and Bears in 2020 and 2021, serving as a high quality backup/spot starter.

The value of a quality backup in the NFL, especially someone like Dalton, cannot be overstated.  He’s enjoyed success as a starter, but appears to be a bit “washed” for lack of a better term, and has been able to serve as quality insurance the past 2 seasons.

As we go into 2022, it seems like there are more teams than usual who desire an upgrade, or some sort of solution at the quarterback position.

Many teams will draft a rookie in 2022, and perhaps sign 1 year bridge quarterback while their draft pick develops.

I want to take a look at the market for Andy Dalton in 2022, as he’ll probably have a selection of teams to choose from to sign with.

Which teams could use Dalton’s services?

In my opinion, teams like the Broncos, Steelers, Colts, Giants, Commanders, Panthers, and Saints could all be in the market for a quarterback, whether that be a veteran trade acquisition, drafting someone, signing a veteran, or a combination of the last two.

I think Dalton and his agency believe he can land a starting gig this offseason, seeing as teams may not be willing to start their rookie draft pick week 1, and considering Andy Dalton may be the top free agent quarterback available.

Which teams could, but probably wont sign him?

Of the teams mentioned above, I don’t think the Broncos, Colts, Giants, or Saints would be interested in signing Dalton, but I think they’d sniff around.

Depending on who you talk to, their current in-house options might be better than Dalton himself.

Teams like the Steelers, Commanders, and Panthers all have dire needs at the position.  As a Broncos’ fan, its weird to see that there are teams that currently have a worse quarterback situation than Denver, but they exist.

The Steelers need to continue to rebuild their offensive line and get younger on defense.  It would not be wise to start a rookie week 1 behind their porous unit.

The wise move is to sign Andy Dalton, give him a starting job he’d probably want, and allow him to hold the fort down while the team figures out the rest.

The Commanders are interesting, because they have a solid roster all around, but no one to led it.  Taylor Heinicke did an OK job, but it’s clear he’s not the answer.  I do think the Commanders will ultimately look to the draft, so signing Dalton makes sense.

Perhaps they’d rather have Jimmy Garoppolo or Carson Wentz, but neither player has proven to be a true franchise signal caller.

The Panthers also seem to have their roster mostly set.  They wasted valuable draft picks to acquire Sam Darnold, and now they find themselves without an answer.  I think they are a team who would look to either start a rookie week 1, or try to make a splash move for a veteran quarterback available for trade.

Could Andy Dalton sign with any of those 3 teams? Yeah, there’s a chance, but I would personally not be surprised if Dalton is able to sign another $10 million contract with a team to be their week 1 starter.