Cincinnati Bengals signed quarterback Andy Dalton to a new 6-year, $115 contract extension on Monday. The deal, according to Mike Floria, has a base value of $96m for 6 seasons, if Dalton lasts that long with the Bengals. Dalton will get $18 million in the first year of the contract, which is hard to stomach given that Dalton’s career completion percentage is just 60.9 and his passing rating 85.7. The Bengals are basically paying a B-level quarterback A-level money.
The contract is guaranteed during the first two years of the contract, which means that unless Dalton performs at a high level, the Bengals could dump him after the 2015 season in order to avoid having to pay the cash that he has coming to him in 2016. As it is, Dalton will make $25 million for the first two seasons, which averages out to be $12m per season.
In 2015, Dalton will make $10.5 million, $13.1 million in 2017, $13.7m in 2018 and $16m in 2019 and $17.5m in 2020.
This is a crazy way of paying a player who hasn’t yet proven himself yet in the league, but the Bengals were smart not to give Dalton a ton of guaranteed money because then they’d be on the hook for that if he failed to improve.
The Bengals drafted Dalton in the 2nd round in 2011 out of Texas Christian. He failed to play at a high level in 2011 and 2012. Last season, Dalton completed 61.9% of his passes with 33 touchdowns and 20 interceptions and a passing rating of 88.8. Those numbers weren’t big enough for him to warrant a contract as big as the one he was given by the Bengals, but then again we’re talking about a team that consistently plays poorly. When you have an organization drafting lesser players and overpaying mediocre ones, it’s no wonder that they never get to the big game.
The Bengals did make a good move in drafting quarterback AJ McCarron in the 2014 NFL draft. This guy could be the future for the team if he’s given a chance to play at some point so that he can show what he can do. It’s probably going to take some poor play or an injury to Dalton for the Bengals to give McCarron a shot.