While the man who ultimately will decide whether he should give an extension to quarterback Andy Dalton expressed reservations about whether it was a good idea to do so, the man who has to coach him wants Dalton around for the long term.
"We are hopeful we can get a deal done that doesn't preclude us from doing everything else we also want to continue to do -- and soon -- because we are sitting on a chunk of cap in order to get him done and continue to put the team together around him," Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"We are hopeful we can get a deal done that works and Andy can put it behind him. He can get back to focusing on football. He doesn't have to go into the season and worry about this contract thing, every week someone is going to ask him a question and then it gets to there and then are you franchising -- all those things that come into play later on. Let's get it behind us. Let's get something that works for everyone and enables us to keep tackles in front of you, receivers on the outside, guys on the other side of the football so it works for everybody."
Though Dalton is still 0-3 in his playoff appearances, the fact that he has led the team to the postseason in each of his seasons in the league seems to play a larger role in his mind.
"Andy's done a fine job for us," Lewis said (as seen in the video above). "We all want to be better. Once he does that, all of that will go away. He's being compared with Drew Brees, he's being compared with [Aaron] Rodgers, guys who didn't get a chance to play right away. They sat and watched. We threw Andy in right away. He's done a really good job."
But Bengals owner Mike Brown still seems to be conflicted about his next step.
"The player market is something that always is surprising," Brown said Monday from the owners' meetings. "Why the prices are so high is hard to know for sure. You look backwards and there have been more bad deals then good deals from a club's perspective. That doesn't mean there haven't been some good deals -- there have. More often than not you don't win overpaying a guy.
”With quarterbacks there is another dilemma. With a fixed cap there is a certain amount of money and no more. You allocate that on a quarterback you have less to hand out to everybody else. It can cause attrition. We are going through a difficult time right now because we are trying to work through a deal with Andy and trying to hold back enough money in the cap to do that, yet we don't know what that is. ..."