Panthers Snag Star QB Dalton for $10M: No.1 Draft Pick’s Future Mentor?

In a move to bolster their quarterback room, the Carolina Panthers are reportedly on the verge of signing free-agent Andy Dalton to a two-year contract worth $10 million, with $8 million fully guaranteed. Sources indicate that the deal’s maximum value could reach $17 million.

The Panthers are looking to add a seasoned veteran to mentor the quarterback they plan to select with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Their focus is primarily on Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young, but they are also considering Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.

Dalton, who has had a long career in the NFL, last played for the New Orleans Saints, where he signed a one-year, $3 million contract in March last year. Initially brought on as a backup, he took over as the Saints’ starter when Jameis Winston suffered an early-season injury.

During his time with the Saints, Dalton started in 14 games, completing 66.7% of his passes for 2,871 yards, along with 18 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. However, the team ended the season with a 7-10 record and did not make the playoffs.

The 35-year-old Dalton was initially drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL draft. He spent nine seasons with the team, during which they made five playoff appearances but never secured a postseason victory. Dalton was injured during the Bengals’ 2015 playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Before his stint with the Saints, Dalton played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 as a backup to Dak Prescott, stepping in as a starter for nine games when Prescott was injured. He also started six games for the Chicago Bears in the 2021 season.

Dalton’s career totals are impressive, with 162 starts in 166 games played. He has completed 62.5% of his passes for 38,150 yards, throwing 244 touchdowns and 144 interceptions.

The addition of Dalton to the Panthers’ roster demonstrates the team’s commitment to providing a strong support system for their future quarterback. The experience he brings will be valuable in mentoring the young player they draft, and his veteran presence will surely be a welcome addition to the locker room.

With Dalton’s signing, the Panthers are showing that they are focused on creating a competitive environment and a culture of success. As they prepare for the upcoming draft, the acquisition of Dalton ensures that their future quarterback will have the guidance and support needed to thrive in the NFL.

In a league where stability at the quarterback position is essential for success, the Panthers are taking a proactive approach by securing the services of a proven and experienced player like Dalton. As they look to rebound from a disappointing season, the addition of Dalton should help Carolina get back on track and be a formidable force in the NFL.