NFL

Dalton ready for life with Bears: They told me I was the starter

By Sports Desk March 18, 2021

Andy Dalton opted to join the Chicago Bears after receiving assurances he will be the team's new starting quarterback.  

Dalton has signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $10million with Chicago, who had been linked with a blockbuster trade for Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson during the offseason.  

Nick Foles is already at the Bears, though Mitchell Trubisky's time with the franchise has come to an end after he joined the Buffalo Bills in free agency.  

"They told me I was the starter," Dalton said during his introductory news conference on Thursday. "That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here.   

"Every conversation I've had has been that, so that's the assurance that I've gotten.   

"I had several options and I felt like this was the best fit for me. When you hear that you're going to be the starter, that's an enticing pitch."

Dalton spent the 2020 season with the Dallas Cowboys, initially serving as back-up to Dak Prescott.  

However, he was thrust into a starting role when Prescott suffered a season-ending leg injury against the New York Giants in Week 5.  

Dalton went on to throw for 2,169 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 games – his completion percentage of 64.9 just above a career number of 62.2. He did miss time, though, due to a concussion and also contracting coronavirus.  

He was selected with the 35th pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 and, during his nine seasons there, he threw for 33,763 yards, putting him second on the team's all-time list for passers.  

Now the three-time Pro Bowler will aim to solve a problematic position for the Bears, who traded up to draft Trubisky second overall in 2017, ahead of both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.  

Chicago finished the 2020 campaign with an 8-8 record, good enough for second spot in the NFC North and a playoff berth. However, they were beaten 21-9 by the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round.  

"This was definitely the place I wanted to be," Dalton said of his new home. "I'm glad this whole thing worked out.  

"At this point in my career, you want to join a team that is competitive, that is doing things the right way, is trending in the right direction, and to get a chance to come in and start for a team like this, that's a great opportunity for me and for my future and my career and everything."

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