All right, before anyone freaks out over this category, let's set up a preface. The Bengals will not be looking for a quarterback to replace Andy Dalton for the 2014 season. He will continue to start for the team.
However, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and if he does take a step backward, the Bengals could begin to head in a different direction. This offseason, Cincinnati has a chance to find a developmental prospect who shows promise and can be developed.
The Bengals will not spend a high draft pick on the position this year, but the quarterback class is deep and they could look to the middle or later rounds to bring in another signal-caller.
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Murray fits the Bengals offense nicely. His quick delivery and ability to slide around in the pocket make him a perfect fit for a West Coast offense. His deep passes have good velocity, and he shows nice touch on shorter throws. He could be developed into a future starter or quality backup.
David Fales, San Jose State
Fales excels with pre-snap reads. He is intelligent enough to decipher a defensive scheme before the snap and make appropriate adjustments. He has solid mechanics and shows the ability to work through his progressions. Fales is tough and can scramble for yards, bouncing back up after taking a hit.
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Shaw received the ultimate praise from head coach Steve Spurrier last season, according to his draft profile on CBSSports.com: "He is the best quarterback ever." Spurrier was referring to all quarterbacks in South Carolina's school history. Shaw was extremely efficient in 2013, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards, 24 touchdowns and just one interception.
Yes, Freeman was awful over the 2013-14 season. However, this is the same quarterback who showed a great amount of promise in Tampa Bay. Back in 2010, he completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions for a passer rating of 95.9. Perhaps the Bengals coaching staff could help him regain his form.
Henne did well with his opportunities on a terrible Jacksonville Jaguars offense last season. Although his final stats for the year were not overly impressive, he did show glimpses of fine quarterback play. In an offense as talented as Cincinnati's, Henne might continue his improvement. In the worst-case scenario, he could become a solid backup.