The Cincinnati Bengals are releasing Andy Dalton, who served as the team's starting quarterback for the past nine seasons, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Dalton had seemed unlikely to retain his starting role with the Bengals drafting Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in last week's draft, but Dalton had expressed a willingness to serve as the team's backup during the final year of his contract.

"I truly believe they want what's best for me, but I understand it's a business, and you know how that goes," Dalton told NFL.com before the draft. "With the first pick, if they take a quarterback as everyone expects, that could trigger something. There's even a scenario where I go back there."

But the Bengals lacked the cap space to keep Dalton's $17.7 million salary for the 2020 season.

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