CINCINNATI — As the Cincinnati Bengals announced the departure of quarterback Andy Dalton Thursday, Andy's wife JJ Dalton went live on Instagram to talk about goodbyes and letting go.
"I'm sad to let go," JJ said, "While that chapter of our life is closing, God has surrounded us with the most amazing people..."
Bengals president Mike Brown said it was a "hard day" for the team and that he and the rest of the Bengals front office "respect and appreciate Andy..."
"Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise," Brown said.
Head coach Zac Taylor said Andy was a key player on and off the field too.
"Andy and his wife JJ are leaving a lasting impact in the community," Taylor said. "[They] have meant a lot to this team and this city, and we wish them the best in the future."
Former Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson tweeted that he was proud of Dalton and that he represented Cincinnati well.
Andy Dalton has represented the city of Cincinnati and the Bengal QB family with class and success both on and off the field. I am proud to call him a friend and wish him nothing but the best of luck. Wherever he goes will be lucky to have him. #whodey
— Ken Anderson (@KenAndersonNFL) April 30, 2020
Dalton was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and he has been with the team for the last nine seasons. He helped lead the team to five playoff appearances in that time.
He made the Pro Bowl three times, ranks first in touchdown passes among Bengals quarterbacks with 204, and second in passing yards (31,594) and completion percentage (62.0). Dalton's QB rating is (87.5) which is second among Bengals quarterbacks who were starters for more than one season.
Dalton's departure from the Bengals comes a week after the team drafted Joe Burrow with the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If the Bengals kept Dalton for the 2020 season, the final year of his contract, the team would have had to pay him $17.8 million.