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The Bengals are releasing Andy Dalton

The Bengals are releasing long-time quarterback Andy Dalton

The Bengals are releasing quarterback Andy Dalton a source confirmed on Thursday morning. 

The 10-year veteran was scheduled to make $17.7 million this season. Instead, he'll be free to sign with a new team. 

Dalton's days in Cincinnati were numbered the moment the Bengals secured the No. 1 pick. They selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who's expected to start as a rookie. 

“I’m not sure. That’s a question for Coach Taylor and Mr. Tobin," Burrow said last week when asked about Dalton's situation. "Either way, I’m going to continue to work to be the best player I can be. If I’m with Andy for a year, I think it would be a great learning experience. He’s someone that’s done it for a long time at a high level.”

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The move frees up $17.7 million of cap space in Cincinnati and gives Dalton the opportunity for a fresh start. 

The writing was on the wall and Dalton knew his days in Cincinnati could be numbered. The team looked for a trade partner this offseason, but struggled to find a taker.

The veteran signal caller left the door open to returning to the Bengals last month in an interview with NFL Network. 

"I truly believe they [Bengals] want what's best for me, but I understand it's a business, and you know how that goes," Dalton told Mike Silver of "With the first pick, if they take a quarterback like everyone expects, that could trigger something. There's even a scenario where I go back there."

Instead, Dalton will be looking for a new team. Reuniting with former Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in Jacksonville would make a lot of sense. The Patriots are another team that could have interest in Dalton.