Mike Brown thinks Dalton's contract should be in Kaepernick's range

Does Andy Dalton really want Colin Kaepernick money? (USATSI)
Does Andy Dalton really want Colin Kaepernick money? (USATSI)

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If you want to interview Bengals owner Mike Brown, it's only guaranteed to happen once a year -- the day before training camp opens. Thus, with questions surrounding Andy Dalton (can he be the quarterback that leads the team to a playoff win, how much will it cost to keep him after this season?), Brown on Tuesday talked about Dalton's future and if that future actually is in Cincinnati.

"You can count on one thing, he’s going to be the quarterback here for the immediate future," Brown said, via the Bengals official website. “We’ve had numerous discussions and I think like most of these matters, it will find an ending soon enough. But I’m not going to stand here and predict when that will be."

Earlier in the offseason, coach Marvin Lewis -- who's been on record multiple times saying he wants a contract for Dalton to get done -- made reference to the notion that Dalton wanted the kind of seven-year, $126.1 million contract Jay Cutler received that averages $18.1 million per year.

But Brown had another quarterback in mind.

That would be Colin Kaepernick, who got a six-year, $126 million deal last month that averages $21 million per season (the caveat there, though, is that much of his $61 million guaranteed money comes in the form of annual roster bonuses that Kaepernick still will have to actually earn in order to receive them).

“We tend to think our deal should be something in that range, not way beyond it,” Brown said.

If that's the case, this deal should be wrapped up real soon. Because although Dalton has taken the Bengals to the postseason in each of his three seasons -- a three-year stretch of success that Cincinnati has never seen -- the idea that he should be making more money than Kaepernick, who's been to back-to-back NFC title games and also made a Super Bowl appearance in his short career, is ridiculous.

If, however, the two sides can't come to an agreement, there's also this: Brown said the team would consider slapping the franchise tag on Dalton for the 2015 season. 

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