The Cincinnati Bengals signed fourth-year quarterback Andy Dalton to a six-year, $115 million contract today. Dalton had just one year left on his current deal, while the new one keep him in Cincinnati through 2019 or only through Week 1 of this season.
“I think this is a deal that both sides can be very happy with,” said Bengals owner and team president Mike Brown. “If, due to some miracle, Andy doesn’t play horribly, he can make a lot of money here for a long time. And, if and when he doesn’t, we can now cut him after Week 1 and try to find a less disappointing quarterback.”
The Bengals had reportedly pushed for a deal that would allow them to cut Dalton at halftime of Week 1, but his agent wouldn’t budge.
“His agent knows what he has in Andy Dalton,” said a front office source. “And that’s absolutely nothing. I can’t blame him for wanting to get as much guaranteed money for Andy as possible, all the way through an entire game.”
Dalton says he is confident he will last throughout the duration of the deal.
“The critics drive me,” he said. “I know what I can do in this league and I’m prepared to go out there and prove how good I really am.”
“I’m sure you will, Andy,” Brown laughed, slapping his quarterback’s shoulder. “I’m sure you will.”
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis also said today that backup A.J. McCarron will begin splitting reps with the first team.
“You know, to prepare for Week 2,” said the coach.
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