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Andy Dalton’s odds to be the Patriots’ Week One starter increase drastically

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Related: How Bill Belichick has set Jarrett Stidham up for success in his early years

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Just days after selecting Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have released long-time starter Andy Dalton.

The writing was on the wall for Dalton, who was benched last year under first-year head coach Zac Taylor. Yet, Dalton leaves Cincinnati with the highest win percentage with the franchise of any QB with more than 50 starts (.534). He’s also first in team history in TD passes with 204, while trailing to only Kenny Anderson in passing yards (31,594) and games played (133).

With Dalton now on the open market, and free of his large salary cap charge, the odds of Dalton starting for the New England Patriots in week one of the 2020 season have changed drastically.

“The Patriots have been touted as a possible destination for Dalton for a while now, but things have really heated up today,” said Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt.

Before the news of Dalton’s release, he was +1800 (5.3 percent probability) to be under center in Foxboro come week one. These odds have been cut to +200 (33.3 percent probability) in several hours, showing oddsmakers believe the chances he ends up in New England have increased nine-fold.

“Such a significant shift in odds over such a short period of time is quite unusual,” said Watt. “[It] suggests that the books were taking a significant amount of wagers on Dalton to slip into Brady’s shoes and are fearing for their liabilities.”

Dalton now has the second highest odds to be the Patriots starting quarterback, trailing only Jarrett Stidham (-200). The recent release has also shifted Cam Newton’s odds in the opposite direction; as the former Panther saw his odds slips from +350 to +600 this morning to be the next Patriots signal caller.

The Patriots are somewhat familiar with Dalton, having played him four times dating back to 2013. Dalton is just 1-3 against the Patriots in his career and tossed four interceptions in their matchup last season.

As the draft came and passed last week, the Patriots did not dip their hand into the quarterback class. Instead, they waited to sign undrafted free agents Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith at the position. While this further showcased their confidence in the second-year Stidham, Bill Belichick has never shied away from competition throughout the roster.

Dalton has long been rumored to be a candidate to replace Tom Brady, or at least create a battle with Stidham and Brian Hoyer. The former Bengals’ career achievements are far more than any quarterback the Patriots currently have rostered, and could be an interesting addition to the quarterback dynamic in Foxboro.