CINCINNATI – In your first comments since it was cut on Thursday, ex Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he believes the delay in his launch has hampered his opportunities to join another team.
"This year, there were a good number of defenders available," Dalton said when asked about possible commercial options in an article published by Bengals.com late on Friday. "I think it would have worked differently if I had been a free agent when the new year for the league started. I was still under contract and it hurt me."
The new year of the league and the official opening of the free agency was on March 18. Bengals, a traditionally conservative franchise on the open market, has exhausted much of its salary space available to new players.
When this happened, he effectively guaranteed that the Bengals would not be able to pay Dalton's $ 17.7 million salary for the last year of his contract.
To make matters worse, Cincinnati selected the quarterback Joe Burrow with the first general choice in the draft, a decision speculated since before the end of last season. The Bengals were unable to find a commercial partner for Dalton in the following days and he was released on Thursday.
"I'm sure the teams knew that [the Bengals] they would catch defender number 1 and free me and there was no reason to run for anything, "Dalton, who has yet to sign with another team, told Bengals.com
Dalton made similar comments after Bengals coach Zac Taylor said he would be hired just hours before the mid-season commercial deadline on October 29.
"I wish that if he was thinking about it, at least, let me try to see if I could end up elsewhere or at least see if there is an interest in possibly being traded," said Dalton at the time. "At that point, the way it was treated, there was not enough time for that to happen."
Dalton returned to the top of the depth table after three games on the bench and led Bengals to their only two wins of the season.
This offseason, the Bears were looking at a potential deal for Dalton. Chicago opted to negotiate a fourth round choice for quarterback in Jacksonville Nick Foles on March 31. Jacksonville employs former Dalton offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in the same position and is interested in pursuing the veteran quarterback, according to ESPN's Jeff Darlington.
Dalton made 133 starts in his nine-year race with Cincinnati and led the team into the playoffs from 2011 to 2015.
After its launch on Thursday, the non-profit foundation run by Dalton and his wife, JJ, received an increase in donations. The foundation primarily serves seriously ill children and those with physical problems, according to the biography listed on its website.
According to JJ, more than 1,000 people have contributed approximately $ 25,000 in the 24 hours since Dalton was released. A similar series of events took place in October, when the foundation received more than 200 donations when Dalton was funded.