Updates from Monday, August 4
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan report Andy Dalton and the Bengals have reached an agreement on a new contract:
From me and Adam Caplan: Cincinnati and Bengals QB Andy Dalton reached agreement on a 6-year, $115 million contract, per two sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2014
Updates from Thursday, July 31
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports where Andy Dalton and the Bengals are at in their current contract negotiations:
There has been no progress and no movement, according to sources, and while owner Mike Brown has made mention of the desire to get something done, using Colin Kaepernick's deal as a barometer of sorts, the reality is the sides aren't close. The disconnect between regular season and playoff stats is an issue, the lack of a real second tier of comparable quarterback contracts complicates things, and I continue to get the distinct impression that doing a short-term band-aid deal (a la Alex Smith), or a long-term deal that doesn't include much front-end coin) are things Dalton's camp isn't really interested in doing.
La Canfora also shared his thoughts:
I do not anticipate the Bengals and Dalton getting a deal done before the season starts, and barring some dramatic swing in production one way or the other, if it doesn't get done in the summer then it's likely tabled until January.
Updates from Wednesday, July 30
The fourth-year quarterback told NFL Media's Albert Breer on Wednesday that he's optimistic a contract extension is a "when" rather than an "if" proposition.
"I'm confident. And both sides are working on it," Dalton said. "We haven't given a deadline, we haven't talked about a deadline. We don't expect it to get to that point, but if it does, it does."
Updates from Thursday, July 24
Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com provided an update on Andy Dalton's contract negotiations:
Dalton on contract: not worried About it— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) July 24, 2014
Dalton says he doesn't feel like has to win mates back: They've stuck with me— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) July 24, 2014
Dalton on Mike Brown's backing: Makes him confident for a deal— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) July 24, 2014
Opinions regarding the next contract of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton run the gamut in NFL circles. Bengals owner Mike Brown's opinion is the only one that truly matters, though, and he made his feelings known regarding the future of his starting signal-caller.
Mike Brown believes Dalton's next deal should be around Kaepernick's. More on that later. Niners deal caught some attn around here— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) July 22, 2014
Kap signed a six-year, $110 million extension with $61 million guaranteed back in June, per ESPN.com. That deal gave the Niners some cap flexibility, but it also made Kaepernick one of the league's highest-paid quarterbacks.
Kaepernick's contract is also rich with incentives, so he will have to perform in order to reap all the benefits of the deal. That is something Dalton wouldn't mind duplicating, according to Harvey:
You have to have confidence in yourself that you're going to be able to do things and that's what he did. He's confident enough where he's going to be able to play out the whole contract and he's going to be able to earn everything. So for me, I feel the same way. I feel confident with what I'm able to do.
Kaepernick, 26, helped lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game last season after taking them to the Super Bowl one year earlier. He is still developing, but his NFL success dwarfs Dalton's.
Dalton, also 26, has started every game since entering the NFL in 2011 and brought the Bengals to the playoffs in three straight seasons. He has yet to win a playoff game, though, and many question whether or not he is capable of being an elite quarterback.
"We came in together and that is the great thing for me and him," Green said. "I know he's my guy. I don't want any other quarterback throwing me the ball. I think he feels the same way about me."
Green's confidence is a microcosm of how the entire team feels about Dalton, if Brown is to be believed, according to Bengals announcer Dan Hoard:
Mike Brown on Andy Dalton "He is respected by his teammates as much as any quarterback that we've ever had here." #Bengals— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) July 22, 2014
Even so, there is no guarantee that a long-term deal will get done any time soon. Brown has yet to commit to Dalton beyond the upcoming season:
Brown says you can count on one thing re: Andy Dalton -- he will be QB in "immediate future" #Bengals— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) July 22, 2014
Brown has also admitted that using the franchise tag on Dalton next year is a possibility, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer:
Mike Brown says team would consider using franchise tag on Dalton should it come to that next year.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 22, 2014
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is confident that a deal will get done eventually, but he doesn't want it to distract from the task at hand, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
Lewis on contract: It will get settled, but we're not talking about it and he isn't either— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) July 22, 2014
Dalton may be deserving of a Kaepernick-esque deal from a statistical perspective, with over 11,000 passing yards and 80 touchdowns over three seasons. When push comes to shove, though, players are usually judged based on how they perform on the big stage.
What should the Bengals do with Andy Dalton?
The Red Rifle hasn't risen to the occasion in that regard, but franchises have to take a leap of faith at times or else they risk losing top players.
Dalton is still young and has plenty of time to develop into a great playoff quarterback. If the Bengals let him go and allow him to do so elsewhere, they risk losing a potentially elite franchise quarterback.
The Bengals are in a tough position right now, as the Dalton decision could impact the course of the franchise for many years to come.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter