The Bengals in general have been a team that seemed to welcome off-field issues, but this past offseason was particularly noteworthy.
There had been speculation that the coach wouldn't be returning, the previous quarterback had preferred retirement over playing for Cincinnati and the two best receivers (Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco) had left.
The previous season, Cincinnati fans had been thinking that a run to the Super Bowl was a possibility.
Instead, the team went 4-12. It was a massive step back for a team that had gone 10-6 and won the AFC North in 2010.
It wasn't exactly the perfect situation for a rookie quarterback to arrive in.
Despite it all, Dalton helped guide Cincinnati to the playoffs.
It's too early to consider Dalton an elite quarterback in the NFL, but he has to be considered one of the best in his division.
It's doubtful that either Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger could have stepped in and performed as well as Dalton.
With that in mind, here's five reasons why Andy Dalton is the best quarterback in the AFC North.