Andy Dalton has signed a long-term contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Adam Schefter. This is the point where I am supposed to tell you that the deal is for 6 years and $115 million, because that’s what Schefter reported. Then we get to laugh about the deal or spend 24 hours complaining, then at 7 pm, Pro Football Talk comes out with a post breaking down the actual contract terms.
So we know that Dalton is getting something that is NOT $115 million. The Bengals could not exercise the “fifth year option” because Dalton was drafted outside the first round, meaning he would have been a free agent after this year. If this deal ends up being something similar to Colin Kaepernick–where the supposed guaranteed money doesn’t become guaranteed until each offseason–then the Bengals can still move on.
The going rate for a starting quarterback season, non-all-pro division, is around 13 to 15 million at least. If the deal provides that Cincinnati gets Dalton for that in the 2015 and 2016 season, with no long term cap hit if they move on after that, then it makes sense. Let’s see what the true guaranteed money is before we write think pieces on the high cost of a decent but not star quarterback.