The Bengals are expected to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, which will make incumbent starter Andy Dalton the odd man out. So what becomes of Dalton?
At this point, no one knows.
The Bengals haven’t decided what to do with Dalton and are in no hurry to make a decision, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Cincinnati could keep Dalton for the 2020 season, trade him or cut him.
Dalton is due a $17.5 million base salary plus a $200,000 workout bonus this year, but the salary is not guaranteed and no one knows what’s going to happen with offseason workouts, so the Bengals can cut Dalton at any point without having to worry about the cap implications. Cincinnati has plenty of salary cap space and doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to get Dalton’s cap number off the books.
It’s possible that the Bengals could wait until just before the start of the season to decide what to do with Dalton. Some team could lose its quarterback and make a trade offer, and that would allow the Bengals to get something back for Dalton as they move on to Burrow.