Dalton hit the free agent market on Thursday when the Bengals released it after nine years with the franchise. The team could not find a trading partner for their veteran quarterback, prompting Dalton to request his release, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Dalton acknowledges that an exchange never took place due to several factors.
“This year there was a good amount of shifts available. I think it would have worked differently if I had been a free agent when the new championship year started, “Dalton told Bengals.com. “I was still on contract and it hurt me. I’m sure the teams knew they were going to take a No. 1 quarterback and they would free me and there was no reason to rush. “
Dalton was previously linked to possible trade deals with bears and patriots, although the Jaguars ended up sending Nick Foles to Chicago. New England and Jacksonville remain potential landing spots for him.
Cincinnati’s decision to split from Dalton follows his decision to select Joe Burrow as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. As the project approached, speculation arose that the Bengals would free Dalton or make him Burrow’s replacement. However, the team was unable to keep Dalton’s $ 17.5 million salary and sign new hires after a spending spree this spring in free agency.Dalton has been in touch with the Bengals for the past month to discuss his options. He said he knew the team would select Burrow at No. 1, whether or not he was still on the team.
Despite the uncertainty in the free agent market, Dalton said he was confident to continue.
“I will check all of my options and make the best decision for myself and my family. It’s going to work. “