A lot of people criticized the Bengals for giving such a big extension to Andy Dalton, in spite of not winning a playoff game in three tries. I was never down on the deal: it really is a fair market deal for a quality starter who has taken his team to the playoffs for three straight years. More importantly, his early success belies his inexperience: it is really exceptional to take a team to the playoffs your first three years. I also hope his game will continue to improve,l and this contract give the Bengals a chance to bet on that improvement and fair market price.
With Ryan Tannehill’s contract extension this week, the deal looks like an even better value for the Bengals. While the contracts differ greatly, the Bengals get a guy with a much greater track record at a comparable price. The Dolphins are high on Tannehill, and have reason to expect that the contract will pay off, but his deal is probably a greater commitment than the Bengals gave Dalton, and Tannehill hasn’t had a winning season to justify it. Tannehill’s rising numbers show progress, but Dalton’s early success should not be grounds for punishment. Give me a guy with a trip to the playoffs every year: he will eventually get over the hump and win some playoff games. This will be a good deal for the Dolphins if Tannehill continues his progress, and an even better deal for the Bengals if Dalton does the same.