On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the Cincinnati Bengals announced that they were benching Andy Dalton in favor of rookie Ryan Finley. That date is significant because Oct. 29 just so happens to be Dalton's birthday. The NFL is a cold, unforgiving place.
With the Bengals on a bye in Week 9, the rookie will have an extra week to prepare for the team's Week 10 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
With a few hours remaining before the 2019 NFL Trade Deadline, this decision certainly opens the door for a potential Dalton trade. With that in mind, here are three of the most likely trade destinations for the Red Rifle.
1. Chicago Bears
On paper, the Chicago Bears are one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Chicago has solid skill-position players, an innovative offensive head coach, and a stout defense, packed to the brim with stars. The Bears are a veteran team that's ready to win now, but they've seemingly been held back by Mitchell Trubisky, and this team's window is going to slam shut unless Chicago finds a capable quarterback. Dalton would be the best QB Chicago could reasonably hope to acquire in the next few hours, and Cincinnati shipping him to Chicago is a much better birthday present than the Bengals' unceremonious benching of their nine-year starter.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
Would the Bengals ship Dalton to their arch-nemesis? It's unlikely, but a deal could ultimately make sense for both sides. The Steelers already lost their 2020 first-round pick in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, so Pittsburgh has no incentive to lose now. Acquiring a serviceable QB like Dalton could help them make a postseason push, as the Red Rifle would undoubtedly give Pittsburgh a better chance to win now than current starter Mason Rudolph, who just needed a second-half comeback to defeat a hapless Miami Dolphins team.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
Just hear us out. Patrick Mahomes had been playing with what seemed to be a severe ankle sprain all season, and he then suffered a brutal injury in Week 6, when he dislocated his kneecap. The Kansas City Chiefs will clearly live and die based off the strength of Mahomes' right arm, and their best chance to win a Super Bowl this season might be to let the reigning MVP remain sidelined until he's 100 percent healthy. If the Chiefs do opt to sit Mahomes for a little longer than expected, KC could look to find an upgrade over Matt Moore. While Moore played well in Week 8, he was pretty ineffective in relief of Mahomes the week prior, and Dalton could be the the perfect stop-gap option to let Mahomes get back to full strength for a Super Bowl run.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.