Not that it really matters because it's highly doubtful that the Bengals, specifically Mike Brown, will pull the trigger and trade Carson Palmer to a quarterback needy team, but ESPN AFC North blogger James Walker did some digging and found some recent quarterback trades that we could possibly use to predict what the Bengals could receive for Palmer.
He listed seven trades involving quarterbacks since 2007.
On April 5, 2010, Donovan McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2010 draft. With that extra pick, they selected South Florida safety Nate Allen, who in 2010, started in 13 games, had 48 tackles, two sacks, forced one fumble and picked off three passes.
On April 21, 2010, Byron Leftwich was traded from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2010. The Buccaneers ended up trading that pick to the Broncos.
On Feb. 27, 2009, Sage Rosenfels was traded from the Houston Texans to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. With that pick, the Texans selected NC State tight end Anthony Hill. Hill played five games in 2009, catching one pass for nine yards.
On Feb. 28, 2009, the New England Patriots traded both Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 draft. They used that pick on Oregon strong safety Patrick Chung. In his career, he's posted 133 tackles, two sacks and intercepted four passes, one for a touchdown.
On April 3, 2009, the Denver Broncos traded Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a first and third-round pick in the 2009 draft and a first-round pick in the 2010 draft and Kyle Orton. The Broncos used their extra 2009 picks on Tennessee linebacker Robert Ayers and traded their extra third-round pick to the Stellers to move up into the second and draft North Carolina tight end Richard Quinn. They used their extra first round pick in the 2010 NFL draft to move around and select both Wake Forrest cornerback Alphonso Smith and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. The Broncos got a lot of production, on both offense and defense in exchange for Cutler.
On March 22, 2007, the Atlanta Falcons traded both Matt Schaub and their 2007 first-round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for Houston's first and second-round picks in the 2007 draft and a second-round pick in the 2008 draft.
There's no question in my mind that Carson Palmer is better than Jason Campbell, Sage Rosenfel, Byron Leftwich and Donovan McNabb. However, I don't see him being worth as much as Jay Cutler or Matt Schaub.
James Walker agrees and believes that the most the Bengals could get out of trading palmer without getting a bunch of teams in a bidding war is a future second-round pick.
Based on recent history, I think it's reasonable for the Bengals to expect a deal similar to McNabb's or Cassel's. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots both got quality second-round picks for trading their veteran quarterbacks. Most teams would probably offer the Bengals future draft picks for collateral, as well.
Even though I'd love to see the Bengals get a first-round pick out of trading Palmer, it's probably not going to happen. The question is whether or not they'd be happy with a second rounder?
In the last few years the Bengals have gotten some decent talent with their second-round picks. This year, it was Andy Dalton, the future quarterback. In 2010 it was Carlos Dunlap, the Bengals rookie sack leader. In 2009, it was Rey Maualuga, the future middle linebacker and defensive captain. In 2008, it was Jerome Simpson, who may be a late bloomer but has the potential to explode this year. In 2007, it was Kenny Iro.... never mind... let's skip 2007. In 2006, it was Andrew Whitworth, their starting left tackle.
The second round, for the most part, has been good to the Bengals in recent history. Would you take another player like the one I listed above in exchange for Palmer or would you rather let him retire?