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Bears Rumors: Andy Dalton Signing Contract 'Thrilled' Chicago's Coaches

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 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

Despite doubts from fans, the Chicago Bears coaching staff was more than satisfied with the free-agent addition of quarterback Andy Dalton.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler broke down the team's perspective Sunday on SportsCenter:

"I'm told inside the building there with the coaches, they are thrilled with the Dalton pick because when it came to free agency, they broke down all the potential starters. You had the Jameis Winstons, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Dalton, I'm told, was very high on their list. They felt like they've been churning out eight-win seasons, despite having some spotty quarterback play. They think that just capable play with Dalton can really elevate them to a new level and with reuniting with former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in Cincinnati, they think they can produce there."

Dalton agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago worth $10 million, plus $3 million more in incentives.

The 33-year-old started nine games last season with the Dallas Cowboys after starter Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Dalton finished 2020 with 14 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 87.3 quarterback rating in 11 total appearances.

The three-time Pro Bowler is best known for his nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, leading the team to the playoffs four times.

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Current Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor filled the same role with the Bengals in 2017-18 with Dalton under center.

Even incremental improvements at quarterback will be big for Chicago, which has had inconsistency production in the past few seasons from Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Chase Daniel and Mike Glennon.

A quality defense has helped the Bears finish 8-8 the past two years, although better quarterback play could get the team closer to the 12-4 record it saw in 2018.

The Bears reportedly fell short of a trade for Russell Wilson this offseason, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, but it appears the coaching staff is happy with Dalton as a consolation.

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