In his first comments since being cut Thursday, former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he believes the delayed timing of his release hindered his opportunities to join another team.

The new league year and official opening of free agency was March 18. The Bengals, a traditionally conservative franchise on the open market, exhausted much of their available salary-cap space on new players.

When that occurred, it effectively ensured the Bengals would not be able to afford Dalton’s $17.7 million salary for the final year of his contract.

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To compound the situation, Cincinnati selected quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the draft, a decision that had been speculated about since before the end of last season. The Bengals were unable to find a trade partner for Dalton in the ensuing days, and he was released Thursday.

Flip the Page to see Dalton’s comments: