Pro Bowl running back Miles Sanders switched NFL teams for the first time in his five-year career this offseason -- going from his hometown to Philadelphia Eagles to the Carolina Panthers after signing a four-year, $25.4 million contract in free agency -- and he's doing what he can to ingratiate himself with his new teammates. When on local radio in Charlotte, Sanders showered effusive praise for the Panthers quarterback room, specifically 12-year veteran Andy Dalton.
"I have a good feeling about these guys," Sanders said on WFNZ's Mac & Bone. "These guys work, and that's the main thing I've noticed in OTAs. We got a very, very good young quarterback [2023 first overall draft pick Bryce Young] that's being mentored by a very, very, very good quarterback, a future Hall of Famer, Andy Dalton, who I have a lot of respect for. And you got guys like Adam Thielen mentoring the young receivers, and that's a great guy to take notes from. We got a seasoned O-line that I love—I love the film, I love watching their film. And the defense is stacked."
Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has had a nice career. Pro Football Reference credits Dalton with the fifth-best career of any quarterback selected outside of the first round in the 21st Century, according to their Weighted Career Approximate Value metric, trailing only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Kirk Cousins. Dalton, the 35th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft out of TCU (second round), departed the Cincinnati Bengals as their all-time passing touchdowns leader (204) following nine seasons (2011-2019). However, Dalton has never once been named one of the best two quarterbacks in the NFL in a single season (zero All-Pro selections) and has never thrown 35 passing touchdowns in a season, as his career high stands at 33, which he threw back in 2013.
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His 38,150 career passing yards are the 24th-most in league history while his 244 passing touchdowns are the 27th-most all-time. Dalton's longevity, entering Year 13 in the NFL, is commendable, but his production simply doesn't point to wearing a gold jacket in Canton, Ohio one day.