It's a simple question, but a difficult one to answer.

How much is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton worth? 

Ten million to $12 million per year? Or $18 million to $20 million a year?

This much we know: Unless Dalton and the Bengals can reach agreement on a long-term contract in 2014, Dalton becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

Next to the hiring of Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator, Dalton's contract is the talk of the Bengals' offseason. It's the elephant in the room ... an immoveable object and irresistible force driving sports-talk radio conversation.

The biggest obstacle in signing Dalton quickly was the mere fact the Bears signed QB Jay Cutler to a whopping seven-year, $126.7 million deal in January that averages $18.1 million per season.

It's clear Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wants Dalton signed so the team can continue moving forward and planning for the future.

"I'm hopeful, you know?" Lewis told Sports Illustrated reporter Don Banks. "I know he would like to get it done and I know we'd like to get it done, and just hopefully we can get by that deal with my man, Cutler in Chicago, and we can all get something everybody likes.''

CLICK HERE for some interesting perspective from my good friend at CBS Sports, Josh Katzowitz.

Bottom line, Bengals fans: Do you want Dalton back? Yea or nay?