On Friday, Bears GM Ryan Pace confirmed that Andy Dalton will, in fact, be the team’s starting quarterback for the 2021 season.
“Obviously, his experience,” Pace said of Dalton, per Andrew Siciliano. “He’s a nine-year starter. He’s been to three Pro Bowls.”
Pace said that Dalton is “one of the more complete quarterbacks they evaluated this offseason.
“He’s one of the more complete quarterbacks that we evaluated this year in free agency and we’re excited to have him,” Pace said. “We feel like we’ve gotten better with Andy.”
Dalton previously mentioned during his introductory press conference that the Bears made it clear that he will be their starter in 2021.
“They told me I was the starter. That was one of the reasons I wanted to come here. … That’s the assurance I got,” Dalton said, per Chris Emma.
“This was definitely the place that I wanted to be,” Dalton added, per Stacey Dales.
It appeared as though Dalton was going to have to compete with Nick Foles for the starting job, but it sounds like they’re set on going all-in on Dalton this season.
Dalton agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with Chicago, with the chance to earn another $3 million in incentives.
Dalton, 33, is a former second-round pick of the Bengals back in 2011. He was entering the final year of his seven-year, $97.09 million contract, which included $17 million guaranteed when Cincinnati cut him loose.
Dalton stood to make a base salary of $17.5 million in 2020 when the Bengals opted to release him. He later signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys after the draft.
In 2020, Dalton appeared in 11 games for the Cowboys and completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 114 yards.