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On football: Andy Dalton feels he is the face of the Bengals franchise

Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals walks off the field after losing to the San Diego Chargers 27-10 in a Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 5, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

If the Cincinnati Bengals are ever to make the next step, it will rest on the shoulders of fourth year quarterback Andy Dalton. As he has led the team to three straight playoff appearances, Dalton believes he has what it takes to take the team over the hump. He certainly has the confidence, as he believes he is the face of the Bengals franchise. As ESPN reports on April 21, Dalton opened up about his contract situation and he role on the team.

As the Bengals returned to Paul Brown Stadium on Monday, attention has turned to a contract extension for the starting quarterback. As part of a very talented team, Dalton took time to address reporters. He showed animation and enthusiasm as he answered questions. One of those questions was whether he felt he was the face of the franchise. He answered with “I do.”

“Everything that [coach] Marvin [Lewis] has said, [offensive coordinator] Hue [Jackson] has said, and what everybody here has told me is that, and they’ve told everybody that. So I’m confident with that. I hope to spend a lot of my career here.”

With offensive weapons such as receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert, Dalton definitely has the talent to throw to. He just has to take care of the ball and deliver it to those playmakers. Dalton currently has one year left on his first contract and head coach Marvin Lewis seemed optimistic about extending the deal, but it may not come as quickly as Dalton or Lewis would like. Part of the reason is whether or not Dalton is a franchise quarterback.

The team also has to sign A.J. Green, another player with an expiring contract. Green is certainly a priority. Dalton may have to prove himself this upcoming season to get the kind of money as a Phillip Rivers or a Ben Roethlisberger. Both of those quarterbacks have proven a lot more than Dalton has so far. Both quarterbacks are also just making around $15 million annually so the Bengals quarterback understands both the risks and benefits of playing in the final year of his contract. Again Dalton’s confidence arose.

“There’s obviously some risk when that goes on, but I am confident in everything that I have been able to do and what I am going to do this year. If it comes to that then it comes to that, but I think both sides want to get it done. So, hopefully it happens.”