Yesterday when it was announced that Andy Dalton had signed a 6 year, 115 million dollar contract with the Bengals and the internet collectively lost its shit.
The snark infested waters of twitter got even meaner than usual…
…but yet, was this really that bad a deal for Cincinnati?
On one hand, I get it. The number is so big and gaudy. It kind of hurts to look at it. We’re talking about an NFL quarterback who for three straight years has guided his team into the playoffs, only to lose in the first round. The first two years they lost road games to the Houston Texans, and people seemed patient with that. But after the third loss, a home field debacle against an over-matched Chargers team, Dalton has begun to get the Tony Romo treatment. And by that I mean pundits shouting at the top of their lungs that he will never win anything of value in his entire life.
Which, given his time in the NFL (for instance, at the end of Aaron Rodgers’ third season he was still holding a clipboard) is absolutely ridiculous. Still, in a league where you might as well not even show up to training camp if you don’t have a good QB, the concern over Dalton are valid to an extent.
But whenever one of these huge NFL contracts is announced, and people start having a seizure all over social media about it, no one seems to ever read the fine print. This is not Major League Baseball. That is not all guaranteed money. For instance, in the Andy Dalton deal only 17 million of that contract is guaranteed. While that is still a lot of money, compared to 115 it doesn’t seem all that big anymore.
The Bengals have an option after every single season to get out of the deal with minimum financial penalty. So what is this contract really? It’s a one year deal that the Bengals have an option to renew every single season. It’s like being a temp worker at an office. They’ll keep paying you, but if you come in hungover and vomit on the copy machine…you will probably be out of a job sooner than later. For the sake of this analogy vomiting on the copy machine equals losing at home in the playoffs and looking like a complete shithead.
Another thing to consider is that viable quarterback options don’t grow on trees. While Dalton is not a dazzling performer, he is still a steady quarterback and a proven winner (in the regular season). This is a team that is built to win right now and while their youth and depth ensures that their window is not tiny by any means, starting over at the QB position would be a waste of valuable time.
Don’t mistake this piece as me saying I believe in Andy Dalton. Because, well, I don’t.
I think it’s too early to condemn the man’s career, I just don’t see him winning a Super Bowl anytime soon. Well, let me adjust that, I don’t see him being the reason that a team wins a Super bowl anytime soon. That’s what we in the business call the Trent Dilfer clause.
Here are a few clauses that I would have added to the contract if I were the Bengals:
-if he loses in the wildcard round the next two years he can be legally killed anywhere in Cincinnati
-20k fine for every stupid “show me the money!” reference
-has to apologize to A.J. Green every day for not being better at football
What do you think of the Andy Dalton contract signing? Let us know in the comments section.