NFL

NFL Betting: Which Team Will Andy Dalton Play for in 2020?

The NFL quarterback landscape is set to undergo some changes in the coming weeks. Not only will there be the usual influx of rookies like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love, but a host of big-name players are set to be free agents. We should see Philip Rivers and maybe even Tom Brady landing on new teams. Things are going to get crazy.

One player who is not a free agent but is still likely to be heading to pastures new in the days ahead is Andy Dalton. Dalton has been the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals ever since they drafted him in 2011. But after "earning" the first overall pick in this year's draft, the Bengals look set to bring the Dalton era to an end by drafting Burrow. With Dalton still under contract for a further season, the team could cut him outright, or they could attempt to trade him and get something in return for their all-time leader in touchdown passes.

FanDuel Sportsbook has released odds on who they think Dalton's next team will be, giving you a chance to make a bet. (You can do the same for a host of other quarterbacks.) Let's take a look at some of the betting options.

Chicago Bears (+270)

The Chicago Bears have already engaged in talks with the Bengals with regards to carrying out a trade for Dalton. This should come as no real surprise to anyone who knows that the Bears have a Mitchell Trubisky-sized millstone around the neck of their franchise at present.

Two years ago, in 14 games in 2018, Trubisky put up decent numbers for a player many still consider raw. He averaged 230 passing yards per game at yards-per-attempt clip of 7.56. He averaged 1.7 passing touchdowns per game. However, in the 27 games Trubisky played in the 2017 and 2019 seasons, these numbers fall to 197 yards per game, 6.5 yards per attempts and 0.89 passing scores per game. In short, he has not been very good nor efficient. Of the 20 quarterbacks with at least 500 dropbacks in 2019, Trubisky was tied for 20th in terms of Adjusting Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back (0.01).

Dalton may not arrive in the Windy City as the immediate answer to the Bears' prayers. The team brass has announced that they would like to bring in competition for Trubisky this offseason, not necessarily a replacement for him. However, if the competition proves better than Trubisky, then there is little doubt that this would send Trubisky to the bench -- similar to what we saw happen with Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota last season.

As a veteran, Dalton may be better qualified to come in and facilitate the type of offense the Bears and Matt Nagy want to run. But it should perhaps be noted that in 2019, Dalton also averaged 0.01 Passing NEP per drop back.

New England Patriots (+450)

This scenario sounds like one of those hypotheticals that is thrown up during the course of friendly arguments between friends when debating whether it is Bill Belichick or Tom Brady who deserves the bulk of the credit for the success of the New England Patriots over the last two decades. You know the type of discussion, "Belichick is so good he could plug Andy Dalton into this team and they'd still be successful."

This argument is, of course, specious and gives little to no credit to Brady or the person who would propose such a scenario. But with contract talks between Brady and the Patriots not exactly going well, per reports, the team may need to start (or has already started) to look at alternatives should Brady not be with the Pats in 2020. The Patriots may prefer to have a veteran come in and learn their system rather than hand the keys of the franchise over to Jarrett Stidham.

Dalton's current salary would certainly be a lower figure than the one that Brady is likely to command, ensuring that the Patriots still have enough in the war chest to upgrade their pass-game weapons. Dalton has not shown himself to be a player who necessarily improves the play of the players around him; rather he is a player who thrives when surrounded by premier talent. This is best illustrated by looking at Dalton's numbers since 2011 in games he has played with and without A.J. Green. Dalton averaged more passing yards in games without Green, but his touchdowns and yards per attempt went up with number-18 in the lineup.

Stat With Green Without Green
Games 106 27
Passing Yards 234 249
Adjusted Yards Per Attempt 7.29 6.9
Passing Touchdowns 1.6 1.15
Interceptions 0.8 0.9


I still firmly believe Brady will be a Patriot until I see evidence that he won't be. But if my beliefs do not end up matching reality, I could certainly see the Patriots making a move for a player like Dalton.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, +600

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be ready to end the Jameis Winston era, continuing their rich history of never signing a quarterback they have drafted to a second contract. EVER. Winston's achievement of becoming the first player in NFL history to toss 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season almost certainly didn't impress coach Bruce Arians too much, despite the fact that Winston racked up a league-leading 5,109 passing yards in doing so.

Dalton has not exactly been shy about throwing the odd pick in his time, it should be stressed. He has 118 picks in his 133 regular-season games since 2011. But this is only 36 more than Winston, who has 88 in 72 games. As previously mentioned, Dalton's best seasons in the NFL came with top tier receiving talent around him. With the Buccaneers, he would have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to prop up his production. Maybe he could be the key that unlocks O.J. Howard, too. But that all being said, the Buccaneers and Arians may want a player like Winston running their offense, just not Winston himself.

Arians is a long-standing fan of the vertical passing game, and he loves to see his quarterbacks test the deep areas of the field. Winston led all NFL quarterbacks with 113 deep pass attempts last year, per PlayerProfiler, although he completed just 36.3% of these attempts (17th). Dalton attempted 52, completing 34.6%. It may be strange to say it, but Dalton maybe just a tad too safe for Arians and the Buccaneers.

Las Vegas Raiders, +750

Jon Gruden loves quarterbacks. Always has. He especially likes quarterbacks on other teams, and that could lead him to make a trade for Andy Dalton.

Derek Carr was an efficient facilitator of Gruden’s offense in 2019, completing 70.4% of his pass attempts on his way to a second consecutive 4,000-yard season. Per our metrics, Carr was also fourth in terms of Passing NEP among the 20 quarterbacks with at least 500 dropbacks. But there has always been something about the relationship between the Raiders' coach and quarterback that has never suggested permanence -- despite often glowing reports on the quarterback from the coach.

The chance to add a veteran like Dalton may be just the ammunition that Gruden needs to bring an end to the Carr era with the Raiders. Dalton may also have some second-hand knowledge of Gruden's scheme after spending the early part of his career with Jay Gruden when he was Dalton's offensive coordinator.

But saying all this, replacing Carr with Dalton would appear to me to be something akin to the Spiderman pointing at Spiderman meme. Dalton does not possess a gunslinger mentality nor is he one of the new breed of quarterback able to win a game with his arm or his legs. He is, in many ways, a similar quarterback to Carr. A swap just doesn't appear to make too much sense.

Cincinnati Bengals, +900

Maybe the Bengals don't really love Burrow. Maybe the Bengals receive a treasure trove of picks from another team wanting to move up and select the former LSU quarterback. Maybe the Bengals decide to take said offer and retool their entire roster with these additional selections, putting a solid infrastructure in place for when they identify a quarterback they truly want to wheel out for the next decade. Maybe they decide to keep Dalton around for one more year as a bridge to whoever this hypothetical quarterback is, like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Or maybe this is pure sentimental trash and Dalton's time with the Bengals will be forgotten as soon as Roger Goodell announces the Bengals selection of Burrow in Las Vegas on April 23rd. Yes, that seems more likely.