4. Chicago Bears
The Bears have been in trade talks for Andy Dalton since the end of February. However, they decided to go a different route in free agency and traded for former Super-Bowl MVP Nick Foles. The Bears have always had QB trouble, and Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t changed that. Trubisky regressed this past season and you could tell by watching the Bears offense. They struggled to generate offense while averaging only 17.5 ppg, which ranked 29th in the league.
The Bears wish to compliment their great defense with a decent offense this upcoming season, so they brought in Nick Foles to fight for the starting job and push Mithcell Trubisky. After being interested in Andy Dalton before, I would not be surprised if they sign him to a 1-year deal, similar to Jameis Winston’s recent contract. It would bring in more competition for Trubisky and a competent quarterback with postseason experience. He would also be a great mentor for the young Bears QB.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have had Big Ben for the past 16 seasons, but he has had his fair share of injuries. Last season, Roethlisberger played only two games, and the Steelers played out the rest of the season with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at the helm. They both played alright but clearly lacked experience. Andy Dalton has been in the league for 9 seasons and is a veteran who has shown the ability to go out and perform.
With Big Ben also questioning retirement (he did say he was returning for this season though) and rumors of people within the organization wanting him to retire brings up this question: What is next for the organization? Dalton has always played for the Bengals, who are known for not having the best management, but with a new culture and coaching, he can become a more polished passer as the next quarterback for the Steelers in a post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Just a few seasons ago, Sacksonville stormed America with a great defense and a strong run game. But just two seasons, later their defense has lost key players like Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, and A.J. Bouye. They also have players frustrated with the management, such as Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue. So with a culture change bound to happen in Jacksonville, now seems like a good time to get a fresh face at QB.
At the moment, the Jaguars have Gardner Minshew, who played well in his first 12 games of his career, winning 6. However, Minshew is extremely unpolished and needs a mentor for development. Dalton could play that role, and would also be met with a familiar face with the newly-signed Tyler Eifert, his teammate from the Bengals’ glory days. Eifert has been one of Dalton’s favorite targets throughout the years, so this would make the smoothest transition for Andy Dalton out of all other teams on this list.
1. New England Patriots
The team with the strongest link to Andy Dalton this entire offseason has been the New England Patriots, who just recently lost Tom Brady, the greatest QB of all-time. They signed Brian Hoyer and two undrafted rookies so far, but they still have ways to go with their quarterback situation.
Bill Belichick has shown great confidence in Jarrett Stidham this offseason and seems to believe Stidham is the next franchise QB for the Patriots, but until proven true, New England still needs to address the position. Signing Andy Dalton would help give Stidham more time to develop until he’s 100% comfortable with taking over.
The Patriots also have the best coaching in the league and know how to get the best out of their players. Dalton was once a Pro Bowler and if any team could have him playing at that same level, it would be New England. Dalton would also take a contract that’s worth about as much as Jameis Winston, a very team-friendly deal.
Similar to the situation in Pittsburgh, Dalton would be a good transition player to help the Patriots come up with a plan in a post-Tom Brady era. With him, the Patriots have a chance to remain competitive in a still-weak AFC East division, though that could come to an end soon.