Andy Dalton joined the Carolina Panthers in the offseason knowing that a starting role wasn’t a guarantee, and heading into training camp he appears primed for the No. 2 spot.
The Panthers selected Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Dalton will likely bring veteran leadership in the quarterback room. However, Dalton said he believes he could still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
“I view myself as a starter in this league. I don’t think there are 32 guys better than me,” Dalton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Saturday.
“But this is the situation I am in, and I understand that. As soon as I don’t think I’m one of the best 32, or a little lower, I’ll be watching football on TV.”
Dalton started 14 games for the New Orleans Saints last season, throwing for 2,871 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Saints finished 7-10 in 2022 and missed the playoffs.
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The veteran quarterback has not been able to find a permanent home since he left the Cincinnati Bengals following the 2019 season after nine years. He’s played for the Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears since then.
“I look back at the last couple of 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 I played good football — but we didn’t win as many games and that is 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 about where I am. It’s fun to be in this position to help the next generation of quarterbacks.”
Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler and will likely be a crucial part in Young’s development as a quarterback next season.