Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the Bears have promised veteran Andy Dalton that he will be their starting quarterback this season, despite trading up in round one for Justin Fields.
Right after the first round of the draft, Bears GM Ryan Pace told reporters that Dalton is their starting quarterback so this fits with what the team has said of their quarterback plans.
“Matt [Nagy] has spoken to Andy Dalton tonight; that communication and clarity for us is really important,” Pace said Thursday night, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Andy is our starter, and we’re gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what’s best for our organization and win games.”
Dalton also said that he was aware that the Bears could come away from the draft with a quarterback.
“I knew the situation I was going into, regardless of if they drafted somebody or they didn’t. I was on a one-year deal, and I was going to be the starter,” Dalton said.
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.
The Bears later signed Dalton to a contract this offseason.
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.