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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Andy Dalton, Bengals agree to six-year, $115 million contract

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

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Andy Dalton said last week that he was "confident" he would get a new deal with the Bengals and on Monday, that's exactly what happened. The two sides agreed on a six-year, $115 million contract, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

La Canfora reports that all of the fully guaranteed money comes in the first year of the deal. Dalton will make $18 million guaranteed this season and will make $22 million by next February.

Beyond that, the contract is essentially pay as you. The team will have protections from a cap and cash standpoint should they choose to move on after a few years. In the meantime, Dalton gets a life-altering chunk of money within the first 6-7 months of signing the deal.

Next up: The Bengals want to extend wide receiver A.J. Green and linebacker Vontaze Burfict, two young standouts still playing on their rookie deals.

So is Dalton worth that much? He's 30-18 as a starter, though he's limped to an 0-3 mark in the postseason. And while there will be critics of the new deal, the quarterback has the support of Green, the offense's best player.

"That's my guy," he said of Dalton in July. "He helped me where I am. I helped him and we took the Bengals to a different level. The Bengals were losing a lot before we came. I feel like we turned it around. I know they know he's the guy. ... I feel like they're going to get something done before the season starts.”

QB Andy Dalton is officially the face of the franchise in Cincinnati. (USATSI)
QB Andy Dalton is officially the face of the franchise in Cincinnati. (USATSI)

One of the knocks against Dalton, who has helped the Bengals to three straight playoff appearances is that he doesn't show up for the biggest games, a notion Green disputes.

“A lot of people give him crap about not winning a playoff game, but we've made the playoffs the last three seasons,” Green said. “We've won 10 or more games (twice). Playoff games …we're still young. I feel like we're going to win them, it just takes time.”

The coaches also have Dalton's back.

"Andy's done a fine job for us," coach Marvin Lewis said during the offseason. "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."

And first-year offensive coordinator Hue Jackson added: "He's on the cusp of something really good. ... The key to being a quarterback in the National Football League No. 1 is winning, and he has that trait. No. 2 is being able to win the big games. Obviously, that's the hump that we're trying to get over. The guy has the makeup to do it."

With this latest contract, owner Mike Brown clearly agrees.

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