MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 22: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals gestures to the fans prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Sam Darnold is QB1 for the New York Jets, but the team is showing some interest in Andy Dalton to be his backup.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the New York Jets are keeping an eye on recently-cut Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

“The Jets have some level of interest in former Bengals QB Andy Dalton, a source said. At this point, it has been characterized as due diligence,” wrote Cimini.

Dalton, 32, is leaving Cincinnati after nine seasons and four playoff appearances. With Dalton under center, the Bengals were always good, but could never get over the hump in the playoffs.

After a disastrous 2019 season, the franchise took hometown kid Joe Burrow first overall. It became obvious that Darnold’s time with the Bengals was over, but no trade suitors emerged.

This report has everything to do with the uncertainty behind Sam Darnold on the depth chart. However, as Cimini notes, the Jets’ interest in Dalton is just “due diligence.” It seems unlikely that the Jets would bring in Dalton after using a valuable draft pick on that very same position.

New York invested a fourth-round pick on Florida International quarterback James Morgan, but Dalton would represent a much more reliable option to back up Darnold. Still, the Jets drafted Morgan with hopes of him becoming Darnold’s long-term backup. It’s unlikely that plan has changed.

But it’s becoming quite clear that general manager Joe Douglas leaves no stone unturned. His wheeling and dealing on draft night represented a dramatic shift for the organization.

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