Today marks the end of an era as the Cincinnati Bengals release QB Andy Dalton. It’s a bitter sweet feeling in Cincinnati as the Bengals decided to release the veteran quarterback after not being able to find a trade partner earlier on in the off-season. Andy has been a great team leader since 2011 and while he wasn’t the most vocal you can tell that during some of his best years the entire roster was behind him. The former TCU quarter back is headed into his 10th year in the league and he has had an above average career with the Bengals.

Many people are quick to brush off Andy Dalton as a bum or a trash quarterback, but Dalton had one of his most productive years in 2015 where he led the Bengals to a 12-4 record before his season was cut short due injury. The 2105 Bengals started the year 8-0 and arguably the hottest team in football with much of the team’s success attributed to Dalton. Dalton always seems to find him self on the edge of top tier status.

Dalton was an MVP candidate half way throughout the 2015 season, but that was cut short when he broke his thumb against the Steelers in week 14. After the injury, Dalton never returned to MVP form and has had a few years of subpar quarterback play.

And that leads us to this week, the Bengals took Hesiman winning QB Joe Burrow with the first pick overall in the 2020 NFL Draft last Thursday night and that was all she wrote for #14.

A 2nd round pick from TCU becoming a 9-year starter in the NFL, having a handful of productive seasons and coming close to being a MVP is a success story all in itself, but his time has come. As a Bengals fan, I always knew this day would come. Dalton’s career isn’t a failure though. There was an option to keep Dalton as back up, but the Bengals must have not wanted suck an expensive back-up.

Dalton still has some gas left in the tank though. Many have been speculating as to where the veteran QB will end up. I thought it would be a place like New England or Chicago, but many are speculating places like Jacksonville or Dallas (as a backup of course.)

I would love to see Dalton have success in New England or Jacksonville. He’s still a serviceable quarterback that can produce in this league.

I personally only met Andy once, really briefly after a 34-23 win against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football in Cincinnati. He stopped and signed a jersey for me and a handful of other fans when he had no obligation to do so. A class act, overall a great dude and I wish him nothing but success at his next stop in the NFL.

So lets hit the music (Wiz Khalifa Ft. Charlie Puth- See You Again), and drop “14’s” in the chat and pay tribute to the Red Rifle by watching this farewell video made by the Bengals.

Goodluck 14.

P.S. Go donate to Andy and JJ Dalton’s foundation. The trend is to donate $14 for #14. Click here for the link.