So long, Andy Dalton. Bengals appreciate the $17 million in cap space

Team releases longtime quarterback
Posted at 9:28 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 11:09:03-04

CINCINNATI — It was not unexpected. We've been talking about it for weeks, if not months.

For anyone following the Andy Dalton situation, it was more a matter of when, not if. And when the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow No. 1 overall last week, the writing was on the wall.

You’re hearing conflicting opinions on what Andy's legacy with the Bengals looks like. But he spent nine seasons in Cincinnati and took the team to the playoffs in his first five years. They had only been to the playoffs twice in the 20 years before he arrived.

RELATED: Andy Dalton leaves behind a complicated legacy.

So it's hard to look at his time here as a failure, even though the latter years didn't go so well.

"Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise," Bengals President Mike Brown said, "and I know that he holds a special place in my heart."

If Dalton had played one more year for the Bengals -- or maybe if he had played just a few more games -- he would've likely surpassed Ken Anderson as the franchise's all-time leading passer.

Anderson said this on Twitter about Dalton Thursday:

"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"

I talked to ESPN Radio's Mo Egger and he put it as only he could.

Egger said you always look at your "ex" more fondly if you're happy with your current situation, and Bengals fans are happy to now have Burrow. So Mo thinks this will be more of a peaceful break-up for Bengals fans than a harsh one.

RELATED: Bengals, fans tweet about Dalton.

There are two sides to this for the Bengals. By dropping Dalton, they essentially saved themselves $17 million this fall.

The Bengals really wanted to trade Dalton so they could get a player or draft choice in return, but they couldn't make a deal.

Still, I think they'll still take the $17 million in extra cap space.