The Bengals today signed QB Andy Dalton to a contract extension running through the 2020 season. His original contract had run through 2014.


            A second-round Bengals draft choice in 2011, Dalton has led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his three previous seasons, including an AFC North Division championship in 2013. In ’13, he set franchise season records for passing yards (4293) and TD passes (33).


“Andy is being rewarded for his accomplishments with a significant contract,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice-president, “and we are pleased to have a deal in place that will make him a key part of our team for a number of years.”


“Andy is not only a fine player, I think he is an exceptional person,” said Bengals president Mike Brown. “Nobody has more respect in our building than he. I would tell you that of all the quarterbacks we have had, he is respected by his teammates as much as any of them.”


Dalton in 2013 won two AFC Offensive Player of the Week awards and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. He joined S David Fulcher as the only Bengals to win three AFC weekly or monthly awards in a season.


“It’s stating the obvious that this is a key move for the ongoing success of our team,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, “I congratulate our front office, and Andy and his representatives, for coming together to make this happen in a constructive way for the football team. Andy is still a young player (26), he has led us to the playoffs three straight years, and by far we have not seen the best of him yet.”


“It’s great that the Bengals have shown this confidence in me,” Dalton said. This is only a beginning. We have higher goals than just making the playoffs, and it’s my job to lead us there.”


Dalton is one of only five starting QBs in the Super Bowl era (1966-present) to pilot playoff seasons in his first three years. This season, he’ll bid to join Baltimore’s Joe Flacco as the only QBs to reach postseason in each of their first four campaigns.


Dalton has not missed a start in his Bengals career, and his 30-18 regular-season record gives him the best winning percentage (.625) of any Bengals QB with 10 or more starts.


Dalton has joined Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the only NFL passers to top 3000 yards in each of their first three seasons. Not only has Dalton been a high-reward player, he’s been low-risk, with only three career interceptions on snaps inside the red zone. He has 56 career red-zone TD passes, and his TD-INT ratio of 18.7-to-1 is third-best among active QBs, trailing only Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.


Dalton’s passing touch has helped WR A.J. Green reach 260 receptions in his first three seasons, the most for a player in years 1-3 in NFL history. Green’s 3833 receiving yards rank second in league annals for a third-year player.


“Andy’s our guy,” Green said. “We have a lot of confidence in Andy as a player and a leader. In tough times, he’s unflappable. He’s going to take us to that next level.”