Andy Dalton spent nine seasons as the Bengals’ starter before Joe Burrow supplanted him. After one season in Dallas, where he signed as Dak Prescott‘s backup before Prescott was injured in Week 5, Dalton signed a one-year deal with the Bears.
Chicago, though, drafted Justin Fields in the first round only 44 days after signing Dalton.
“I knew the situation I was going into, regardless of if they drafted somebody or they didn’t,” Dalton said Wednesday, via Chris Emma of 670 The Score. “I was on a one-year deal, and I was going to be the starter. My mindset didn’t have to change.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy repeatedly has declared Dalton the starter. But let’s be honest: That means Dalton is the starter until A.) The Bears start losing; B.) Dalton is injured; or C.) Dalton isn’t playing well.
Nagy knows it. Dalton knows it. Everyone knows it.
Dalton, though, doesn’t seem fazed by the prospect of losing his job, because he believes he can win with the Bears this season. That could delay Fields’ ascension until 2022.
“I already knew that I’m going to do everything I can to be the best player I can for this team and to help us win a lot of football games,” Dalton said. “Whatever happens after this year happens. But my mindset didn’t change because they drafted Justin.
“I’m trying to do everything I can to make us the best team we can become the fall.”
The Cowboys went 4-5 with Dalton as their starter last season. The three-time Pro Bowler is 74-66-2 as a starter in his career, passing for 33,764 yards with 218 touchdowns and 126 interceptions.