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Dalton expects big deal from Bengals

The SportsXchange

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he is expecting a long-term contract extension because he is the face of the franchise.

Dalton talked about his contract situation Monday as the Bengals started their voluntary offseason workout program.

The fourth-year pro was asked if he believes he is the face of the franchise, despite the presence of wide receiver A.J. Green.

"I do," he said, according to ESPN.com. "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."

Dalton has one year left on his rookie contract that pays him

nearly $1.7 million this year. The contract, as a whole, is worth $5.2 million.

Some salary-cap analysts believe he could command nearly $15 million per season on his next contract. Quarterbacks Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger make approximately that amount. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco signed a deal after winning the Super Bowl that pays him about $20 million per year.

"It's a quarterback-driven league, so quarterbacks get rewarded a lot of money," Dalton said. "For a lot of these quarterbacks, if you're the quarterback of the team, you're the face of the franchise. So these teams obviously believe in their guy and they're going to pay him that way."

The Bengals have made the playoffs in each of Dalton's three seasons as quarterback, but have lost all three games.

Also, the team is negotiating a new contact with Green, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

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