Thu, Mar 18, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton has signed with the Chicago Bears and promptly took over as the starter. According to Dalton, he was told by the Bears that he will be the starter when the 2021 season begins and will not have to compete with incumbent Nick Foles. Mitchell Trubisky is no longer in the fold as he signed a one-year free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills this week.
Dalton, the longtime starter for the Cincinnati Bengals, was the backup for the Dallas Cowboys this past season and wound up playing in 11 games, nine of them starts when Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending injury.
"They told me I was the starter," Dalton said after the deal was announced. "That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. So every conversation I've had has been that, so that's the assurance that I've gotten."
Dalton has been named to the Pro Bowl three times in his career. He also led the Bengals to the playoffs in his first five seasons in the league after being drafted out of TCU. However, Dalton has been unable to secure a playoff victory.
"Obviously I know there's been a lot of talk, but I'm coming in from the outside," Dalton said. "A lot of people don't know a ton about me and are gonna get to learn a lot about me while I'm here. That's all I'm worried about and so, I'm here now.”
"Hopefully everybody gets a chance to see who I am as a player, as a person, see what we're gonna be able to do with this organization. I'm excited about the opportunity. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk, but I'm not worried about any of that."
For his career, Dalton has thrown for more than 33,000 yards, 218 touchdowns, and 126 interceptions between his time spent in Cincinnati and Dallas.
Dalton has a history with Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy and Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor, both of whom were on the Bengals staff as the quarterbacks' coach and offensive coordinator, respectively when Dalton was still in Cincinnati.
There’s no secret that the Bears tried to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks before moving on to the free-agent pool of quarterbacks, ultimately landing on Dalton.
"When it wasn't happening and this worked out for both of us to come together and for me to be a part of this team, I was ecstatic because I was hoping that was gonna be the case," Dalton said. "I knew everything that was going on."
Dalton has already said that he would be fine with the Bears drafting a quarterback this year and working as a mentor. He signed a one-year, $10 million contract that includes an additional $3 million in bonuses.
The Bears made the playoffs in 2020 with an 8-8 record. Dalton immediately improves Chicago’s chances of being a playoff team again in 2021 with the hopes of moving further than the Wild Card round.