Andy Dalton not threatened by Ryan Finley pick


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton told reporters Tuesday that he hasn't made contact with fourth-round pick Ryan Finley yet.

Dalton, however, doesn't appear to feel threatened by the team's selection of a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.

"I think they're just trying to create some competition in the backup room," Dalton said, via the Bengals' official website. "So, obviously we need numbers. You can't go in with two, so we've got to get to four and I think we did that. I think we signed an undrafted free agent as well. I'm interested to see what he's like and get to meet him."

The selection of Finley marked the first time since 1991 that the Bengals used a pick as high as the fourth round on a quarterback despite the presence of an established starter, according to the Bengals' official website.

But Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection on his career, enters his ninth professional season with two years remaining on his contract, so he should feel secure with his position atop the pecking order in the quarterback room.

And despite the recent down years, Dalton previously led the Bengals to five consecutive postseasons from 2011 to 2015.

With Dalton entrenched as the No. 1, Finley projects to battle Jeff Driskel, who posted a 1-4 record in five starts last season, for the primary backup spot behind Dalton. While the Bengals have yet to announce the move, a report from The Athletic links Central Connecticut State signal-caller Jake Dolegala as the undrafted free-agent signing Dalton alluded to.

The Bengals are now set to enter the next phase of the offseason workout program with more than adequate depth at the quarterback position as the Bengals install a new offense under first-year coach Zac Taylor.

For his part, Dalton embraces his role as a leader among the group and has no problem with providing mentorship to Finley.

"I'm learning this offense as well," Dalton said. "Obviously I'll be able to help him because I was a rookie quarterback at one point. I was a rookie quarterback that started, so I had the experience of being there. Any time he needs help, I'll be able to help him out."