Andy Dalton joined the Carolina Panthers in the offseason knowing a starting job wasn’t a guarantee, and heading into training camp he appears poised for the No. 2 spot.
The Panthers selected Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Dalton is likely to bring a veteran lead in the quarterback room. However, Dalton said he believes he could still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
«I see myself as a starter in this league. I don’t think there are 32 players better than me,» Dalton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Saturday.
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«But this is the situation I’m in, and I understand it. As soon as I don’t think I’m one of the top 32, or a bit lower, I’ll be watching football on TV.»
Dalton started 14 games for the New Orleans Saints last season, passing for 2,871 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Saints went 7-10 in 2022 and missed the playoffs.
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The veteran quarterback hasn’t been able to find a permanent home since leaving the Cincinnati Bengals after the 2019 season after nine years. He has played for the Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears ever since.
«I look back on the last two years, and some of the situations didn’t turn out the way I would have liked,» he said. “Last year I felt personally, I felt like I played good football, but we didn’t win that many games and that’s the most important thing. I have confidence in who I am as a player.
“Not a lot of people can say, ‘This is year 13 in the NFL.’ I feel good where I am. It’s fun to be in this position to help the next generation of quarterbacks.»
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Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler and will likely be a crucial part of Young’s development as a quarterback next season.