CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton is relieved. So are the Cincinnati Bengals.
Everyone one was all smiles around Bengals camp Monday when the team made Dalton one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.
Dalton signed a six-year extension, but financial terms were not released. According to multiple reports, the deal is worth up to $115 million.
“We’re betting big on him because we believe in him,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said.
Dalton said now that the deal is done he can concentrate solely on football.
“You do have it in the back of your mind, when is it going to get done,” Dalton said. “Now we don’t have to worry about it. Like (coach Marvin Lewis) said, just play the game and I don’t have to have this hanging over me. To get this opportunity to come to the city of Cincinnati, get drafted here and play for the Bengals and now sign this extension and be here for a long time, I’m just so blessed.”
Brown said it was a “happy news day” for the organization.
“This is important to solidify our franchise going forward. Andy has earned his place here,” Brown said. “He has gained the confidence of the players, the coaches and the management of the team.”
Added Dalton: “We’re excited to know we’re going to be here for a long time.”
The quarterback has passed for more than 3,000 yards in each of his three seasons. He led the Bengals to an 11-5 record and AFC North title in 2013. He set career highs with 33 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions.
Dalton has been criticized for throwing six interceptions with only one touchdown in three postseason losses. Lewis said Dalton is still improving.
FAVRE TO ENTER TEAM’S HALL OF FAME: Brett Favre is returning to Titletown.
The quarterback, estranged from the franchise he helped resurrect during his 16-year career, will be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and have his number retired July 18, 2015. Favre’s No. 4 will be unveiled on the Lambeau Field north end zone facade at halftime of a yet-to-be-determined game during the 2015 season.
RB WILSON’S CAREER IS OVER: New York Giants running back David Wilson’s NFL career is over after two seasons because of a neck injury.
The 23-year-old was told by doctors Monday that he risked more serious problems if he kept playing. He underwent fusion surgery to repair vertebrae and a herniated disk in his neck in January. Then at practice Tuesday, Wilson caught a pass and ran with his head down into the back of an offensive lineman, a hit that caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities.
He missed the final 11 games last season after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord.
MANZIEL WORKS WITH FIRST TEAM: Johnny Manziel took a planned trip up the depth chart.
The Browns rookie quarterback spent practice taking snaps with Cleveland’s starters for the first time at training camp Monday, moving ahead of Brian Hoyer for at least a day.
Coach Mike Pettine said Manziel’s promotion was the next step in the club’s evaluation of the two quarterbacks, who are in their second full week of fighting it out to be the starter.
“It’s just part of our plan,” he said.
Around the league
Broncos starting running back Montee Ball is sidelined with appendicitis and isn’t expected back until the AFC champs’ opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 7. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson shared snaps with the first-string offense at practice Monday. ... Falcons rookie defensive end Ra’Shede Hageman does not have a fractured wrist stemming from his fight with center Joe Hawley. ... Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (back) will not play in Thursday’s preseason opener at San Diego. ... Geno Smith will start over Michael Vick at quarterback, as expected, in the New York Jets’ preseason opener Thursday against Indianapolis. ... The Vikings signed veteran safety Chris Crocker. ... Bears receiver Marquess Wilson is out indefinitely after breaking his collarbone in practice.