The Bengals enter the 2015 season on a 24 year win-less playoff drought. Head coach Marvin Lewis has been with the organization since 2003 compiling a career playoff record of 0-6. Lewis is also facilitating enough the second longest tenured coach in the NFL behind Bill Belicheck. Lewis has managed to keep his job making the Bengals the poster child of mediocrity. Could quarterback Andy Dalton be on his way out of Cincinnati if the team fails to win a playoff game in 2015?
General manager Mike Brown has done a great job surrounding Dalton with the necessary talent to win. Star wide out A.J. Green has been with Dalton since they were drafted together in 2011. The Bengals also possess the best runningback combination in Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard. A dominant offensive line and monster redzone target Tyler Eifert leave little room for Dalton to gripe about his supporting cast. After signing a six-year, $96 million contract the Bengals can essentially opt out of that deal as soon as the end of this season. Releasing Dalton would cost the Bengals roughly $7.2 million in dead money. Then again some members of the organization believe back up A.J. McCarron could be a star in the making.
The Bengals coaching staff believes McCarron is “fully capable of becoming a starting-quality player,” according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer. McCarron is notoriously known for winning 3 national titles at the University of Alabama. Fellow Bama alum Wallace Gilberry shared his thoughts on the young quarterback.
“The kid is doing awesome,” Gilberry said. “When I say awesome, that’s kind of an understatement.”
While McCarron is no threat to Dalton’s job as of yet the short could grow short if Dalton struggles early on this season. McCarron was often times overlooked during the process leading up to the draft after being selected in the 6th round of the 2014 draft. The pre-season will be important for McCarron to give the organization more trust heading into this season.