Heading into the Oct. 29 trade deadline, the Cincinnati Bengals decided to make a major change at the quarterback position, benching longtime starter Andy Dalton and making rookie Ryan Finley the new man under center. However, the team didn't give their former second-round pick ample time to find a new home via trade, which made him voice his displeasure to reporters. Now he is hoping for a trade to happen shortly after the 2019 season ends.
In a piece filed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, it was revealed that Dalton is "eager for" an offseason trade after being benched in favor of Finley, and the belief is that he should have a fairly robust market. According to unnamed GMs that spoke with La Canfora, Dalton is well-liked around the league and could be better positioned for finding a new team than fellow veterans in Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning, or Joe Flacco.
Of the teams that could be on the hunt for a new starting QB, La Canfora and his sources believe that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the best option. The reason for this belief is that the former first overall pick in Winston has not shown the expected growth throughout his five-year career and has instead alternated good and bad performances with regularity.
Considering that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left retirement to take over the team and is 67 years old, the belief is that he won't want to work on coaching up a rookie. Trading for the veteran in Dalton would provide him with a relatively young signal-caller that has proven to be a top option when surrounded with talented receivers and a good offensive line.
"Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians was very high on Dalton through his draft process, and the Buccaneers have amassed one of the better collections of receivers and tight ends in the NFL, and also have a solid offensive line," La Canfora wrote in his article. To this point, the Buccaneers have a top-five wide receiver in Mike Evans, another talented option in Chris Godwin, a reliable tight end in O.J. Howard, and a one-two punch at running back in Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber.
That being said, the Buccaneers may not be the only option for Dalton. The Tennessee Titans also have questions at quarterback after benching Marcus Mariota, who was drafted immediately after Winston. Ryan Tannehill has made the Titans more competitive, but is he the longterm option?
Similarly, the Chicago Bears selected Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, ahead of defending MVP Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. The Bears offense has struggled mightily with consistency behind Trubisky, and there is a belief that head coach Matt Nagy could be looking for a change. Dalton would provide just that in the Windy City given his familiarity with midwest weather.
With the trade deadline passed, the Bengals can't make a move until the new league year begins in March, but the general managers could discuss a potential deal during the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
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