Signing Andy Dalton Over Cam Newton Isn't Ludicrous Despite What Talking Heads Say

Andy Dalton.
Andy Dalton. / Mark Brown/Getty Images

In the pantheon of nicknames and talent level, the Red Rocket can't hold a candle to Superman. But just because Andy Dalton wasn't blessed to the same degree as Cam Newton doesn't mean he's not a better free agent quarterback. No matter what all the analysts tell you.

Since he was released by the Bengals, the Jaguars and Patriots have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Dalton. That led to several pundits, including Nick Wright, to question the idea of a team signing Dalton over Newton.

The common argument is Newton is more talented, more accomplished and has played at a higher level more recently. Stats and trophies suggest that is correct. But while Cam over Dalton can be argued from that perspective, talent isn't everything when it comes to being an NFL quarterback.

Reports suggest Newton is currently waiting for a starting opportunity to open up before signing. Whether that be because of an injury or a team (like the Jaguars or Patriots) thinking he gives them a better chance to win seemingly doesn't matter. Newton wants to play. He wants to prove he's still a star. He probably wants a larger contract. He doesn't want to ride the bench.

Dalton, meanwhile, seems like an ideal fit as a backup quarterback. The stories about him coming out of Cincinnati since the release have painted him as a selfless leader (giving up his first-class seat on a plane ride home to an injured teammate, as an example) and his mild-manner temperament is ideal for a younger quarterback to learn from.

Of course, giving up a seat on a plane doesn't mean you'll be a great backup. We don't know if he even wants that or would be happy with that role. Based on his desire to leave Cincinnati after they drafted Joe Burrow, it's fair to assume Dalton wants a shot at being a starter as well. He knew that wasn't possible for the Bengals, so he sought greener pastures.

To say Newton is the clear choice is not accurate, however. There are many layers to being an NFL quarterback and a few important ones are accepting your role and remaining humble. Maybe Dalton isn't as humble as he comes across and maybe he wouldn't accept a role as a backup. But his history suggests he would be better in that area than Newton.