Dalton started 133 games for the Bengals from 2011-19, going 70–61–2. The TCU product is Cincinnati's all-time leader in touchdown passes.
The Bengals were largely respectable with Dalton, reaching the postseason in four straight years from 2011-15. But after a four-year playoff drought, Cincinnati opted to go in a new direction this offseason.
"Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise, and I know that he holds a special place in my heart," team president Mike Brown said in a statement. "This is a hard day for our club because we know and appreciate what a consummate professional Andy has always been. We respect and appreciate Andy, and we thank him."
Dalton could quickly find a new team, and there are a couple of landing spots where he could potentially start. Jacksonville currently has second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew as its 2020 starter, and New England has not brought in competition for Auburn product Jarrett Stidham. Perhaps Dalton could following Brady in Foxborough.
Cincinnati's move to release the veteran QB follows its decision to select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy with LSU in 2019, and he won the National Championship.
The Bengals finished last in the AFC North in 2019 at 2–14. They have not won a playoff game since 1990.