Bears, Pats among potential trade partners for Dalton

Several quarterbacks are set to hit free agency in the coming weeks. As those dominoes fall, notably Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, the market for Andy Dalton should become clearer.

Three potential suitors for the longtime starting QB include the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and ... New England Patriots, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

The Bears have maintained Mitchell Trubiskywill be their 2020 starter but also expressed a desire to upgrade depth at the position this offseason. The Colts, who have been heavily linked to Rivers, have been more open-minded regarding incumbent Jacoby Brissett.

As for the Patriots, it remains unclear how things will play put with Brady after 20 years together. Rapoport reported last week that New England would like to know the new CBA before committing to a deal with Brady but that he remains in its plans for 2020.

If Brady were to sign elsewhere, Rapoport said one of their backup plans might be Dalton.

"It doesn't sound like there's been any hardcore negotiations between teams and the Bengals, but they're certainly looking at it," Rapoport said.

The Bengals are working with Dalton's agent Jeff Nalley to facilitate a trade, with top exec Duke Tobin telling Rapoport that the team won't send its former franchise QB anywhere he doesn't want to go.

Cincinnati, of course, holds the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft and is expected to take a quarterback.

Dalton started 13 games in 2019 but was benched in Week 9 before reclaiming his job a month later. The 32-year-old is under contract for $17.5 million dollars next season, so a restructure could be in order once he lands on a new team.

"It might not be something that's on the front burner," Rapoport said, "but it does sound like Dalton eventually will be traded this offseason."

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