In a free agent class headlined by names like Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, one name not being brought up much is Cincinnati Bengals veteran Andy Dalton, who is not expected to be the starter in 2020 once Cincy takes Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
Dalton technically still has one year left on his contract, but the Bengals are on the hook for $17.7 million if they keep him, while releasing him would incur no dead money. That means he has a good shot at being released, unless a team with big cap space is willing to make a trade for him to make sure they got one year of his services. Either way, he's likely on his way out the door.
Dalton's last couple seasons have been underwhelming, but his career average of 6.8 adjusted yards per pass attempt (AY/A) would have been enough to tie with Tom Brady and Jacoby Brissett for 20th among qualifying QBs in 2019. He's not going to carry a team on his back, but he's also capable of keeping a team competitive if he's surrounded with talent.
These three teams are the most likely to be Dalton's Week 1 team in 2020, according to odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. Notably, the Bengals rank just eighth among all teams with +900 odds, highlighting how likely a release is.
3. New England Patriots (+450)
As mentioned above, Brady's 6.8 AY/A from 2019 matches Dalton's career average in Cincy. Even with Brady playing that way, the Patriots won 12 games in the regular season before being upset in the playoffs. With an elite defense and one of the greatest head coaches of all time, this is still a team positioned to make a deep playoff run if they can get even serviceable quarterback play in 2020. Serviceable is Dalton's M.O., and he could make for a cheap stopgap option for a year or two while the Patriots look to develop their QB of the future.
2. Indianapolis Colts (+450)
Coincidentally, tied with the Patriots for second is the Indianapolis Colts, who are rumored to be looking to move on from Jacoby Brissett, the other passer to average 6.8 AY/A in 2019. The Colts missed the playoffs at 7-9 last year, so a middling QB may not look like the answer, but it's also worth noting that top WR T.Y. Hilton was limited by injuries for much of the year. The Colts clearly want to run the football, doing so at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL (46.4 percent) in 2019, so an inexpensive game manager like Dalton could make sense.
1. Chicago Bears (+300)
The Chicago Bears have been included in the conversation for a bunch of free agent QBs this offseason, and it makes sense. Mitchell Trubisky just finished tied for 31st among 33 qualifying passers with 5.9 AY/A last season. Even his career average of 6.4 would have tied him for just 27th. The Bears D is the core of the team, having ranked eighth in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA ranking in 2019 and first in 2018, so again this isn't a squad that's looking for a quarterback to do all of the heavy lifting themselves.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel