Two Quarterbacks who were taken in the 2011 NFL Draft. One is for certain facing Free Agency and the other can see it on the horizon. Both have had highs and lows to their career. Both of them also have had pretty close stat lines for some parts of their career. But which one has the most value?
The History of Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton was drafted pretty early in the Second Round of the NFL Draft to the Cincinnati Bengals. He has had a pretty decent career. He has been in the Pro Bowl three total times and has been in the playoffs a total of four times; with four unfortunate losses. One knock on Dalton is the fact that he has a rather high touchdown to interception ratio. In 2019 it seemed to reach a new high with 16 total touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Dalton’s contract runs through the 2020 season but it seems he is on the verge of being replaced. The Bengals have been entertaining offers for Dalton but no moves have yet to be made. The Bengals also have the number one draft pick in the Draft this year. All signs seem to be pointing to the drafting of Quarterback Joe Burrow from LSU. It seems as if Dalton’s time in Cincinnati is coming to a close.
The History of Cam Newton
Cam Newton was drafted with the first pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers at the time were on the verge of a hard rebuild with a new coach and a lot of players gone. Newton was an instant improvement and game changer for the team. He eventually took his team to a Super Bowl in 2015. Also he won the MVP the same year. However Cam has been on a decline over recent years due to injury struggles. He had an injured hand, injured shoulder, injured foot, and who knows any other injuries he may have been fighting through since 2016. It has caused him to miss a plenty of games over the recent seasons including almost all of the 2019 season. Newton was officially cut from the team in March and now has the freedom to sign with any team who wants him.
The Situation in Cincinnati
There are two different situations going on. Dalton on one hand has had a plethora of talent around him. From Jeremy Hill, to A.J. Green, to Tyler Eifert. Weapons have not been short. His lackluster playoff performances and an 0-4 record have left a bad mark on his career. Looking through some of the games from last season, one thing is for certain, Dalton is not good right now. His throws are erratic. He underthrows, overthrows, and puts his receivers in horrible positions. Dalton’s pocket presence and decision making is also questionable. There are moments where he can make some really good throws and do good for his team. However they are often overshadowed by his bad mistakes.
Cam and Free Agency
Newton on the other hand has not exactly had the best talent around him. The best receiver he has had was Steve Smith and that was at the beginning of his career. In 2015 he took a bunch of nobody receivers and made them look good. Backed by a stellar defense Carolina was a well rounded team. Injuries have plagued him in recent years and it raises the question of will we ever see MVP Cam again? Is it worth taking a risk on him? Cam has often been known for his cannon of an arm. He lives by it and he dies by it. At times it is wonderful because he can fit balls into tight spaces. At other times he can’t control his arm and overthrows wide open receivers. It all comes down to, does Cam still have what it takes when he is healthy?
A Change of Scenery?
Does Dalton’s issues lie with bad coaching? It’s no lie that over the recent years the Bengals have been somewhat of a train wreck, seemingly being on a constant decline the past few years. Which is a shame because their team has a great deal of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Yet they were the worst team in the NFL in 2019. Maybe a change of scenery is what Dalton needs to rejuvenate his career. It worked for Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill honestly looked like a bum at his time with the Miami Dolphins but last year with the Tennessee Titans he came alive. Maybe this could happen to Dalton as well. Getting into a different system, new teammates, and a change of environment could do him well. However, that is a big “what if”. Personally I don’t see a lot of value left in Dalton. Through his career he has been fairly average, and not really at the top of the best Quarterbacks in the leagues.
The Final Verdict
Despite his injuries I feel Cam has the most value for several reasons. First he is definitely playing with a chip on his shoulder. It is no secret that he feels the Panthers gave up on him. Cam is dying to prove to teams that he still has what it takes to compete at a high level in the NFL. Second, he has been given time to heal from his injuries and recover. Something he has not had. For the first time in a long time, when Cam signs with a team, we will see a healthy Cam Newton. He may never reach the MVP status he once was at, but Newton still has a fire in his belly and something to prove to the rest of the league. You just don’t see that with Dalton, which is why I have Cam Newton as the QB with the most value.
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