It isn’t a fun time being Andy Dalton right now. People don’t understand how much of a competitor the 33-year old quarterback is. He truly believes he can still play in the NFL and there is evidence to support this. Unfortunately, he ran into a case of bad luck. While the Chicago Bears offered him a starting opportunity, it came with the caveat that they would consider pursuing options in the draft. Sure enough, Justin Fields fell to #11 and the team made the play to get him.
Even so, the Bears kept their word. Dalton remained the starter going into the season. Things were fine the first week. He ran a competent offense and showcased some of that precision that made him a success in Cincinnati. Then, in a cruel twist of fate, it was that exact team who contributed to him losing his job yet again. During a scramble against the Bengals in Week 2, Dalton suffered a bone bruise to his knee.
This meant he was going to miss time.
He tried to return to play immediately, almost sensing the danger he was in. The pain was just too much though. Sure enough, after a rough first start against Cleveland in Week 3, Fields delivered an excitement-fueled win over the Lions at Soldier Field. During which he showcased all of the talents that made him a 1st round pick. Especially his deep ball. That performance was what sealed it.
Head coach Matt Nagy made the decision that barring an injury, Fields is the starter moving forward. It was a painful meeting when he had to give Dalton the news. Nagy did everything he could to keep the door open for the veteran. Unfortunately, there was just no stopping this runaway train. While upset by the turn of events, Dalton made sure he wasn’t going to let his own personal emotions cloud his responsibility. So he called Fields to congratulate him.
Andy Dalton proves again he is pure class
While he’s been a good player in his NFL career, everybody will swear that he is a 10x better person. This is another such example. The guy wants to play but he’s so unselfish. He will do what is best for the team. That means mentoring Fields moving forward, imparting every bit of wisdom he has to help the young quarterback learn and grow. This is a reminder of why the Bears had no problem giving him $10 million.
So what does the future hold for Andy Dalton? He’ll finish out the year as the backup, maybe seeing action if Fields gets hurt. From there he will have a decision to make. Does he continue to seek out a starting opportunity elsewhere or will he consider settling down as a long-term backup? If it’s the latter, there is a rumbling that the Bears would love to keep him around moving forward if that’s the case.
It would be a smart move on their part.
While Dalton was always a mostly average starter in the NFL, he would be a high-end backup. Somebody who can always be ready, step in, and keep the team on course. He proved that last year in Dallas after Dak Prescott went down. The guy deserves nothing but good things to happen to him.