Andy Dalton has been on the trade block for , but so far, the Bengals haven't been able to find any takers for their veteran quarterback. Basically, there doesn't seem to be much of a market for Dalton right now, and if there ever was a market for him, it seems to have already dried up.
Dalton's best chance of getting traded could come this week during the NFL Draft and if he does get dealt, one team to watch out for is the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Mike Silver of NFL.com, the Jags are interested in signing Dalton, but only at the right price, which is interesting for two reasons.
For one, this could mean that the Jags have thought about trading for Dalton, but they haven't pulled the trigger because they would prefer to sign him at a lower price than what he's under contract for in 2020. For the upcoming season, Dalton is scheduled to make $17.5 million in base salary while taking up $17.7 million in cap space. If the Bengals would be willing to foot the bill for some of Dalton's contract, then a trade would likely become possible.
The other interesting part is that if the Jags are only interested in signing Dalton, that means they'd have to wait for the Bengals to release him, which might not happen. In early April, Bengals coach Zac Taylor made it clear that all options are on the table with Dalton and one of those options would be to keep him for the 2020 season.
"Every option," Taylor said on April 7. "We're trying to put ourselves in the best position to make sure we're prepared for next season and we have the best assets we can have. We think the world of Andy, obviously. It's just kind of a weekly process for us."
Although the idea of Dalton staying in Cincinnati might sound crazy, it's not completely far-fetched, even if the Bengals end up drafting Joe Burrow. Remember, there's likely not going to be any OTAs or minicamps this year and there's a chance that training camps will be cut short, which means Burrow won't have much time to learn the Bengals offense. If that happens, it would make sense for the Bengals to keep Dalton, who could keep the starter's seat warm while Burrow gets caught up to speed.
The good news for both the Jaguars and Bengals is that Dalton also may be willing to take a pay cut. Although most players are usually against taking less money, Dalton has one thing working against him: None of his pay for 2020 is guaranteed. That means if he gets cut in August, he'll walk away with zero dollars. If the Bengals were to offer him somewhere between $8 million and $10 million guaranteed on a restructured deal, Dalton would likely be open to that, just so he makes some money. After restructuring his deal, there would likely be more teams interested in adding him at the lower price, and the Jags would most likely be at the front of the line.
The big reason the Jaguars make sense as a potential landing spot is because they just hired Jay Gruden to be their offensive coordinator, which is notable, because Gruden was Dalton's offensive coordinator during the quarterback's first three years in the league (2011-13). Not only did the Bengals make the playoffs in each of those three seasons, but Dalton also put up some pretty solid numbers. In 2013, the Carrot-Top Cannon threw 33 touchdown passes, which ranked third in the NFL.
The Jaguars also just signed former Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, which means Dalton would get to work with multiple familiar faces in Jacksonville. In 2015, Eifert caught 13 touchdown passes (12 from Dalton), which ranked fourth in the NFL.
Yes, Gardner Minshew is in Jacksonville, but the Jags have nothing behind him, which will put them in an awkward spot if he completely falls apart during the second half of the season like he did in 2019. Although Minshew looked solid at times, the jury's still out on the Jaguars quarterback, and that's because there's no way to know if he can sustain a high-level of play over the course of a 16-game season. By bringing in Dalton, not only would the Jags get a veteran backup, but they'd be getting a quarterback who's highly familiar with Gruden's system, and if Dalton looks good enough, the Jags could even let him compete for the starting job.