It’s not cheap to keep a starting quarterback in the NFL and the Bengals had little choice but to give Dalton a seven-year, $97.09 million deal in 2014 or risk losing the quarterback.
Dalton played up to the new contract, though. After an up-and-down 2014 that still landed him in the Pro Bowl, he had a strong 2015 with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Had he not broken his thumb in the final weeks, who knows? Maybe the Bengals may have been able to finally get a playoff win under Lewis.
But when the Bengals gave Dalton that contract in 2014, the team made it easy to eventually move on from the quarterback in the future if he didn’t play up to his salary.
While it would’ve been costly in each of the last three offseasons to cut Dalton, it would save $13.9 million if the team did it in 2018. And it would scrub the quarterback from the books altogether in 2019 and 2020.
Now not only is Siemian completing more passes on third down, he’s also taking Detroit Lions control of the offense with protection changes, and command of the routes.
Here is Siemian in Week 1 against the Chargers. It’s early in the game, third down with medium. He hard counts the Chargers, makes sure the line is blocking it correctly, and rifles the ball for a first down.
Same game and Siemian showing his toughness. The left guard gets beat clean, but Siemian stands tall and throws for the first down. And he puts the ball in a spot where only the receiver can catch it.