By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — While Tom Brady may be on the move next month, it sounds like another veteran quarterback definitely will be changing teams this offseason. And it’s a QB that has been connected to the Patriots, should Brady leave New England.

The Cincinnati Bengals were the worst team in football in 2019, earning them the right to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the top pick in April’s draft. That makes veteran quarterback Andy Dalton expendable in Cincinnati, and according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bengals will try to send him to a good situation.

“They value Dalton, they want to work with him, and they’re not going to do anything that puts him in a bad spot or that he does not agree with going forward,” Rapoport said Wednesday.

Of course, the joke is that any spot is a better situation than Cincinnati. But with Brady’s free agency on the horizon, Dalton has been mentioned a few times as a potential replacement if Brady takes his talents elsewhere. It’s not just Twitter GMs either, with Peter King throwing it out there on Pro Football Talk recently.

Like a Dalton pass, these rumors will likely fall harmlessly flat before it has a chance to connect. Most Patriots fans react to these “rumors” with a polite “No thank you.” The rest make gagging noises and act like they’ve ingested acid.

Very few would be excited to replace a six-time Super Bowl champ with a guy who hasn’t won a playoff game in his nine-year career, and rightfully so. Dalton is a decent quarterback in the regular season, with a 70-61-2 record. But The Red Rocket misfires — a lot — when it matters most, going 0-4 in the postseason with six interceptions to just one touchdown.

And Patriots fans will remember seeing Dalton just a few months ago, when the Patriots defense picked him off four times in a 34-14 rout. Dalton finished his 2019 season with a 78.3 passer rating, the lowest of his career, and just 16 touchdowns in his 13 games.

There are going to be a lot of rumors surrounding Brady, the Patriots, and any other quarterback looking for a job in the NFL this offseason. In this silly season of rumors, Andy Dalton to the Patriots fits right in.


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