Andy Dalton Discusses Signing Bears Contract: 'They Told Me I Was the Starter'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2021, file photo, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with former Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton, agent Jeffrey Nalley said Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The three-time Pro Bowler could earn an additional $3 million in bonuses. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Andy Dalton confirmed Thursday he signed with the Chicago Bears to be the team's starting quarterback.

"They told me I was the starter. That was one of the reasons I wanted to come here," Dalton told reporters Thursday. "... That's the assurance I got."  

The veteran signed a one-year deal with Chicago worth $10 million, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. He could add another $3 million through incentives.

"When you hear you're going to be the starter, it's an enticing pitch," Dalton added Thursday.

The statement could be a surprise considering the Bears' high hopes for the position this offseason. According to the Dan Patrick Show, they were involved in trade discussions with the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson.

Chicago will instead go with a player who didn't even enter last year as a starter.

Dalton began 2020 as the backup for Dak Prescott with the Dallas Cowboys but ended up starting nine games, appearing in 11. He finished with 14 touchdown passes and eight interceptions, while his 87.3 quarterback rating ranked 25th out of 35 qualified players.

The rating was above Nick Foles in 2020 (80.8) but below Mitchell Trubisky (93.5).

During Dalton's last time as a true QB1, he led the Bengals to a 2-11 record while throwing 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2019. His 78.3 rating was the worst of his career.

The Bears let Trubisky leave in free agency as the 2017 No. 2 overall pick agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills, per Schefter. Foles remains on the roster, but there apparently won't be a quarterback competition going into camp.

While there is still the draft, Chicago doesn't select until No. 20 overall and might not be able to get a Week 1 starter unless it makes a major move up the board.