Chicago Bears reportedly sign QB Andy Dalton

Dalton made three Pro Bowls in his nine seasons with the Bengals.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton walks off the field after their NFL football game...
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton walks off the field after their NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27. 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)(Ron Jenkins | AP)
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (CBS) — After letting Mitchell Trubisky head to free agency, the Chicago Bears reportedly have signed former Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year deal.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport report Dalton will sign a one-year $10 million deal with the Bears. Schefter reports the deal includes up to an additional $3 million in incentives.

Dalton made three Pro Bowls in his nine seasons with the Bengals.

While it’s unclear if the signing ends the Bears’ pursuit of Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson or Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade, the move seems to make either scenario less likely. Either trade already seemed like a long shot, given the Bears’ lack of top-quality draft picks.

Dalton gives the Bears two veteran options for a starting quarterback in 2021, although Nick Foles struggled in his first season in Chicago last year.

Having already seen veteran signings like Cam Newton’s return to the New England Patriots, the Washington Football Team signing Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston staying put with the New Orleans Saints, the Bears were feeling the pressure to buy QB insurance as the free agency clock rapidly ticks away in the first wave of NFL shopping. The Seahawks don’t seem willing to budge on trading Wilson for any offer that doesn’t blow the doors off in Seattle, and so it makes sense the Bears would not pin their hopes of winning in 2021 on Nick Foles or any thought of remarrying themselves to a wildly uneven Mitchell Trubisky.

Dalton took the reins as QB1 in Dallas last season following the season-ending injury suffered by Dak Prescott in Week 5, and struggled to perform well on a consistent basis due to protection issues on an injury-ravaged offensive line.

Not all of his poor play was attributable to that, however, as evidenced most readily in his shortcomings in the must-win regular season finale against the New York Giants. It was all the Cowboys needed to see to know the true value of Prescott, later signing him to a four-year, $160 million deal after having advised Dalton he’d never be the starter in Dallas. And sources tell CBS Sports that while the Cowboys wouldn’t turn a cold shoulder to the idea of re-signing Dalton, they’ve made their peace with the reality of the situation, and are expected to head in a different direction behind Prescott — barring Dalton changing his mind regarding his demand for playing time.

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