Veteran free-agent QB Andy Dalton is expected to reach agreement on a two-year, $10 million deal that includes $8 million fully guaranteed with the Carolina Panthers, per source. Contract max value is $17 million. pic.twitter.com/GCBhqpQ0H8
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2023
Hey, good for Andy Dalton. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers once the new league year begins on Wednesday — and he’ll be getting a nice payday with $8 million guaranteed on the $10 million deal. Dalton isn’t expected to start (what with Carolina trading to the top of the 2023 draft to pick their next franchise quarterback) but his contract maxes out at $17 million if he does meet all of his bonuses and incentives.
Dalton is just the latest Saints free agent to stay in the NFC South, and he’ll be teammates again with defensive tackle Shy Tuttle on the Panthers. He wasn’t quite up to the task of leading the Saints to the playoffs last season, having gone 6-8 as a starter in relief of the injured Jameis Winston, but if the Panthers see him as more of a mentor for C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis then he should do well. That’s a role he’s filled before with the Chicago Bears as a veteran resource for Justin Fields.
One added wrinkle for the Saints: this contract for Dalton should qualify for a seventh- or sixth-round compensatory pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but because New Orleans has already met the maximum number of possible picks (four), they won’t get it. The good news is that Dalton’s contract could count against any new additions, meaning the Saints wouldn’t jeopardize any of their comp picks by signing a qualifying free agent.