The Chicago Bears coaching staff really likes what Andy Dalton can bring to the table for them.
Signing free-agent quarterback Andy Dalton was a priority for the Chicago Bears this offseason.
Dalton spent the 2020 NFL season primarily as the Dallas Cowboys‘ backup. He was forced into action once starter Dak Prescott’s season ended abruptly with a broken ankle. Prior to that, Dalton was best known for his nine-year run quarterbacking the Cincinnati Bengals. They made the AFC playoffs five years in a row and he earned three trips to the Pro Bowl while in Bengals stripes.
Even though the Bears were reportedly in the mix to trade for Russell Wilson with the Seattle Seahawks, the coaching staff seems very much on board with their franchise’s much scrutinized free-agent acquisition of Dalton. Apparently, this was not a move made out of desperation for the Chicago front office.
“I’m told inside the building there with the coaches, they are thrilled with the Dalton pick because when it came to free agency, they broke down all the potential starters,” said ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on SportsCenter Sunday.
“You had the Jameis Winstons, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Dalton, I’m told, was very high on their list. They felt like they’ve been churning out eight-win seasons, despite having some spotty quarterback play. They think that just capable play with Dalton can really elevate them to a new level and with reuniting with former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in Cincinnati, they think they can produce there.”
Chicago Bears: Andy Dalton reunites with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor
Even if he is past his prime, Dalton is still an upgrade over the Bears’ starting quarterback of the last three years in Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears have an excellent defense. The idea is with slightly improved quarterback play, they can contend with the Green Bay Packers for divisional supremacy. Dalton would also be reuniting with his Bengals former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in Chicago.
If Lazor was not this fond of Dalton, the Bears may have gone in another direction under center. Head coach Matt Nagy enters the 2021 NFL season on the hot seat. While his team has made the NFC playoffs twice in three years, his side of the ball has let all of Chicagoland down. By putting all their eggs in the Dalton basket, the Bears are going to look either really smart or really stupid here.
We clearly underestimated how much the Bears liked Dalton heading into 2021 NFL free agency.