Carson Palmer wants out of Cincinnati and people are surprised? An ESPN report claims that Palmer will either demand a trade or release from the Cincinnati Bengals or retire ala Jake Plummer. Could the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders finally have their franchise quarterback or is this all smoke and mirrors?
Is there an NFL franchise in more disarray this offseason than the Cincinnati Bengals? Head coach Marvin Lewis has shown a total lack of class and maturity by waging a public war of words with his wide receiver. Another wide receiver, Terrell Owens places blame publicly for the Bengals losing season on management and coaching. Now the franchise quarterback is demanding a trade. It looks like the circus has officially moved out of Washington.
There are a lot of facets to this story but the big one for me is why the Bengals would want to keep Palmer? Palmer has never fully recovered from his ACL injury a few years back and his lack of progress has retarded the team. Yes the Bengals had a winning season just a year ago but the entire offense was predicated on running the ball with very little emphasis on the passing game. Most fans look at last season’s record, see what Palmer did or didn’t do this season and assume that he regressed or may have peaked. Ironically Carson Palmer’s QB rating is only slightly less than 1% down from last season. Is it Carson Palmer that has regressed or the team?
I live in Philadelphia and whenever the talk of McNabb vs. Kolb came up over the last few years the skeptics would always say, “You know what you get in McNabb. You don’t know what you get out of Kolb.” Well you absolutely know what you will get out of Carson Palmer. You will get a decent QB who can’t move, will have one or two great games a season, and is past his prime as an elite QB. See Drew Bledsoe post-Patriots. The Bengals could have success with Palmer if they go back to their 2009-10 offense of running heavy vs. passing but Bernard Scott is unproven and Cedric Benson is unsigned and may have peaked. This team needs a young quarterback and there has never been a better time than now to start him.
Unfortunately for Palmer he couldn’t have picked a worse time to make these demands. Carson Palmer’s contract doesn’t expire until 2014. No team is going to rush to make a deal for a high priced QB with high risk without a season in hand. If there is a lockout, the rules are that the coaches and teams cannot communicate with players. Other than the Washington Redskins I don’t see any willing to make that move before a new labor agreement is struck between the NFL and NFLPA. I think this more than any other reason is why Mike Brown won’t trade Carson Palmer or even entertain the demand.
The Bengals won’t have a hard time getting rid of Palmer in any other season but this one. There are plenty of teams who would be willing to take a shot on Palmer. The only downside for Palmer like Donovan McNabb is that he is of no use to a team that is in a position to win now. Palmer is only an asset to a team with a young QB who can sit behind Palmer for 2-3 years and learn. For the first time in eight years Palmer is going to have to look over his back. It isn’t fun, just ask Brett Favre about that one.
Not that the Bengals have shown themselves to be the most logical franchise at times. They did extend Marvin Lewis after all.