There are reports the New England Patriots are eyeing former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, but that would be counterproductive to what the Pats need to do.
The New England Patriots are going to have a new starting quarterback in the folds for 2020, marking the end of one of the most historical eras in all of sports, the reign of now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly releasing the Red Rifle, according to a Thursday report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is the end result of the long line of events tracing back to the widespread, then-confirmed speculation Cincy was going to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Patriots, meanwhile, didn’t draft a quarterback, instead seemingly showing all confidence in Stidham moving forward.
Yet it didn’t take long for speculation and rumors to suggest New England was eyeing Dalton. One FanSided breakdown listed the Pats as a possible suitor, while The Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon reported both the Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars as having expressed interest.
In short, for the conclusion, no.
New England shouldn’t be interested in bringing aboard Dalton, as it doesn’t exactly accomplish anything worthwhile. Not over the short term or over the long run. Dalton, 32 years old, could find some traction in a completely new setting away from the mire that’s been the Bengals for the past few years, yes. But he’s far from the kind of quarterback capable of lifting up an entire roster.
Granted, those signal-callers are rare. Yet in order to have a quarterback like Dalton succeed, the Patriots would need a significantly better offense in place than the one they’ve assembled right now.
Instead, perhaps justifiably so, New England’s NFL Draft efforts focused largely on defense.
“Tanking for Trevor Lawrence,” or whichever quarterback you think will be the top prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, isn’t in head coach Bill Belichick’s playbook. So on that mark, perhaps going after Dalton makes some sense, right?
Well, only if it would come at the expense of not seeing what Stidham has to offer. It would be one thing if Dalton had the pedigree of carrying a team to a Super Bowl, say like former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a one-time league MVP. But Dalton isn’t that kind of quarterback. He never has been.
Instead, Dalton would likely help New England win a couple of additional games, but there wouldn’t be any substantial difference. Stidham’s development would be hindered, and the Patriots wouldn’t be any better for it a year from now.
So while the idea of a Dalton-to-Pats union might seem logical, there isn’t too much to suggest it would be the right fit, both in the short term and long run.