Andy Dalton and his wife, JJ, launched a charitable foundation when Dalton joined the NFL in 2011. That year, he was drafted out of Texas Christian University (TCU) after a stellar performance as quarterback, making his way to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the NFL Draft. Since then, the charity has received an incredible response from around the world, and it all comes down to one simple number – 14.
Most of the donations that have been received by the Andy and JJ Dalton Foundation are made for $14, the number the quarterback wears on his jersey. According to the managing director of the foundation, Amy Floyd, over 95% of the contributions received have been for that amount. She adds, “We’re just lucky enough that we get to see Andy in action behind the scenes. It’s just really special to see that fans have not only taken notice but have understood that he has impacted the community above and beyond football.”
Dalton is the Bengals’ all-time second best in terms of passing yards, right behind Ken Anderson, and holds a tie with Anderson for the most passing touchdowns at 197. As the signal caller for TSU, the 6’2” Dalton had a fantastic career, culminating in a Rose Bowl victory against the Wisconsin Badgers to cap off a perfect, 12-0 season.
The charity is receiving renewed attention lately because Dalton is being replaced. He hasn’t had a good season this year, to put it mildly, and the team is ready to make some changes. Ryan Finley will now be the starting quarterback going forward while Dalton will have to figure out what lies ahead for next year.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor believes that it’s time to make some changes and start thinking about the next draft.
“[Taylor] said he has to think about the future with the draft and we have to see what we have in Ryan,” Dalton said. “That’s what it came down to. It’s been voiced to me I wasn’t the reason for the way the season has gone. I felt like I played well and have done some things to keep this team together in this stretch, but he just feels like he has to figure out what they have in Ryan.”
When the announcement about the replacement was made, donations started pouring into the foundation, mostly $14 at a time. The change was reported this past Tuesday and, by Thursday afternoon, almost $4,000 had been received.
Dalton appreciates his fans and the time he has had so far in Cincinnati. He stated on Tuesday, “My heart has been in for this team and in for this city. I think a lot of people see that. And so, just letting everybody know I’m going to be the same guy regardless of the circumstance and regardless of the situation that I’m in.”
The Andy and JJ Foundation has been successful over the years and has one memorable surprise fundraising effort that will never be forgotten. Dalton was, in a large way, responsible for sending the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs in 2017 for the team’s first visit in 17 years. Bills fans wanted to let him know that they appreciated his work.
Dalton was under center when the Bengals took on the Baltimore Ravens in the last game of the regular season. By the end of the contest, the Ravens were headed to the showers as a losing team, their hopes of going to the playoffs completely busted. For that, Bills fans helped raise over $800,000 for the charity.