NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

Andy Dalton runs off the field after a December game. Dalton was released by the Bengals on Thursday, leading to speculation that New England may be interested in him.

Could Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer have some new competition in the Patriots quarterback room?

One report says they may.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon, New England is one of the teams interested in Andy Dalton.

Dalton was cut by the Bengals on Thursday morning, and there have been conflicting reports regarding the Patriots’ interest all offseason. Jeff Howe of the Athletic said Dalton wasn’t in the their plans last month, but MMQB’s Peter King has long seen Dalton a a potential fit in New England.

Dalton’s final impression on Bill Belichick wasn’t a great one -- he threw four picks in a terrible December loss to the Patriots -- but Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman asserted the coach’s interest is legitimate.

“Several teams have mentioned to me that the Patriots’ reported interest in Dalton is real,” Freeman wrote in his 10-Point Stance column. “Bill Belichick, like others around the league, believes Dalton has untapped potential and that it’s been hard to decipher how truly good or bad he is because he’s played in Cincinnati."

The Bengals are the only franchise the nine-year veteran has ever known, so that could certainly be clouding evaluations of Dalton. If the price is right, maybe the Patriots do take a flier on him.