Cincinnati Bengals owner defends Andy Dalton, won't commit to Marvin Lewis extension

By SI Wire
March 23, 2015

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown defended quarterback Andy Dalton in a wide-ranging interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer on the future of the franchise, but he did not say whether he would extend the contract of head coach Marvin Lewis.

Brown also discussed wide receiver A.J. Green.

Brown said he doesn’t view Lewis as a lame-duck coach as he is entering the final year of his contract. Lewis has a 100-90-2 record with three division titles in 12 seasons with the Bengals, but the franchise has been to the playoffs four straight times and has been bounced in the first round each time.

[]"I think Marvin has done a fine job with us,” Brown said. “He's been with us for a long time now. We have a good relationship. I hope that relationship goes forward into the future. But we aren't at the future yet. We don't have to make this decision until after this year. He doesn't have to make this decision until next year.”

Dalton signed a six-year, $96 million extension before last season and starting next season will have a significant cap hit, including $13.1 million for 2016.

“Andy is a good quarterback. He is the style of guy who can function best when he has a good group around him,” Brown said. “He needs that. Maybe he needs it more than some, but they all need it. There is no quarterback that goes out and has success without good players in the mix.”

Lewis said in January that he is satisfied with Dalton and has no plans to bring in other quarterbacks as competition for him next season.

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"There's no time for that," Lewis said. "We have no problem with Andy Dalton as our quarterback. We don't have time to waste time with another quarterback," he said. "The quarterback competition: Where has it worked? It doesn't get you wins."

Green, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver, is entering the final season of his contract and is scheduled to make $10.176 million in 2015.

Brown says that if the team can't come to an agreement on a new contract with Green, it has the option of using the franchise tag on him.

“It's a difficult test for us but we do have the fallback if we need to of using the franchise tag. So, that's one option,” Brown said. “We are going to have a finite cap room with a handful of players who are going to be eligible for free agency."

- Scooby Axson

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