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The Cincinnati Bengals are in win-now mode with Andy Dalton in his third professional season and an abundance of skill-position talent on both sides of the football.
However, Dalton appears to be the main culprit holding the talented team back.
In fairness, he's shown improvement during the first month of the 2013 season. His completion percentage is a career-high 63.5 percent, and he's thrown for an average of 250.8 yards per game.
The question is, has Dalton made big enough strides to push the Bengals past the first round of the playoffs?
Even if Cincinnati's coaching staff still fully believes in him, it wouldn't be the worst idea to look toward the future at the game's most vital position.
The Bengals can't be faulted for not offering a draft pick for Freeman, because they aren't desperate, but now that the strong-armed signal-caller is available, they could bring him in as possible competition or even as a potential successor to Dalton if the 2011 second-round pick continues his inconsistent ways.
In 2012, Freeman's deep passing—throws that traveled at least 20 yards down the field—accuracy percentage was 37.1, while Dalton's was 32.8, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The year before, Freeman was the third-most accurate downfield passer in football.
Ten quarterbacks were more accurate on short plays than Dalton.
Cincinnati may be interested in pairing Freeman with stalwart deep-ball target A.J. Green as the wideout enters the prime of his career.