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Panthers sign QB Andy Dalton to two-year deal

Andy Dalton spent nine years with the Bengals before spending one year each with the Cowboys, Bears, and Saints.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A quarterback with playoff experience and multiple pro bowl nods is headed to the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers are expected to sign Andy Dalton to a two-year, $10 million contract, according to Adam Schefter.

With Sam Darnold signing to San Francisco 49ers and the Panthers acquiring the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Dalton will likely be in a mentor role for whoever the Panthers take with the first pick. 

Dalton spent last season with the New Orleans Saints, a Carolina division rival. During the 2022 season, Dalton started 14 games, throwing 18 touchdowns to nine interceptions, passed for 2800 yards, and completed 66.7% of his passes, the highest mark in his 12-year career.

Before his time in New Orleans, Dalton was a franchise quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals. Dalton captained the team from 2011 to 2019 where he set franchise records for career touchdown passes and led the team to the playoffs for five consecutive seasons (2011-2015).

Despite his success in Cincinnati, Dalton was never regarded as a high-tier quarterback in league circles. Dalton only threw for over 30 touchdowns during one season (2013) and only surpassed 4000 yards twice (2013, 2016). Adding to the doubt on Dalton were the Bengals failing to win a single playoff game during their five trips to the postseason under his leadership.

Regardless, the Bengals stuck with Dalton for nearly a decade until he was released following the 2019 season. He was selected to three pro bowls during his time in Cincinnati (2011, 2014, 2016).

Credit: AP
Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton (14) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Dalton signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and was set to backup Dak Prescott. When Prescott suffered a season-ending injury early in the year, Dalton was placed in the starter role but the whole team struggled to a 6-10 finish. 

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) at the line of scrimmage in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

In 2021, Dalton signed with the Chicago Bears and was slated to be the team's starter until they abruptly chose Justin Fields in that year's draft. Dalton would start six games for the Bears with limited success.

The Saints signed Dalton in 2022 as an eventual backup for Jameis Winston. Injuries to Winston left Dalton as the starter for most of the season. 

The Panthers will now have a solid backup quarterback option with Dalton on the roster. 

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