Saints sign QB Andy Dalton to back up Jameis Winston

The New Orleans Saints have a new backup quarterback.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that the Saints are signing Andy Dalton to a one-year contract worth $3 million guaranteed, per a source informed of the agreement. The team has since announced the signing of Dalton.

The deal is worth up to $6 million in incentives, presumably based on play-time performances.

New Orleans re-signed Jameis Winston to be the starter earlier this offseason, but coming off an ACL tear, there will be questions about Winston's preparedness for the start of the season. Enter Dalton, who lands in a spot where he'll play the veteran backup role while giving him a chance to start if Winston isn't healthy, is ineffective, or gets re-injured.

After nine years as the Cincinnati Bengals starter, Dalton has become a nomad. He signed in Dallas in 2020 to be Dak Prescott's backup before an injury forced Dalton into nine starts. In 2021, the Bears signed the veteran as their offseason starter before drafting Justin Fields in the first round. Dalton started six games last season, completing 63.1 percent of 236 attempts for 1,515 yards with eight TDs and nine INTs.

News of the Dalton signing comes after new head coach Dennis Allen said Tuesday that Taysom Hill will be focusing on the tight end role. Adding a 34-year-old veteran signal-caller underscores the plan to move Hill out of the QB room and use him as a gadget player moving forward.

The Saints drafted Ian Book last offseason in the fourth round, but after one year and one disastrous spot start, it's clear with the Dalton signing they don't view him as the primary backup option. New Orleans also has Blake Bortles on the depth chart.

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