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2011 NFL Bengals Watch List: Palmer Complicates Bengals Draft

Now that Carson Palmer has dropped the "trade me or I'll retire" bomb (the government is currently trying to weaponize Palmer's eight years of built up frustration and name it the CP-Bomb... the desired effect is to make everybody in the blast area really depressed) the Bengals draft picture could possibly completely change.

It's looking more and more like there won't be a new CBA any time soon so Palmer's chances of getting traded, like he wants, pretty much fly out the window when the current CBA expires in March. If Palmer sticks by his guns and retires, he'll fly out the window with them. That would leave the Bengals without a franchise quarterback and with no means to acquire an experienced free agent.

To the draft.

The Bengals could easily find themselves in a situation where they would be forced to select a quarterback with their No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft. Which one they get will completely depend on what the Panthers, Broncos and Bills do with the first three picks.

The top two quarterbacks in the draft this year are widely considered to be Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Washington's Jake Locker. There have been more than one mock draft that have considered the fact that Blaine Gabbert could possibly be selected by Carolina with the first overall pick. That would leave the Benglas with Jake Locker, and even though he wouldn't normally be selected that high in the draft, the Bengals could be forced to draft him based on a desperate need to have somebody calling the shots in the huddle. Of course if Gabbert and Locker on both on the board when the Bengals are on the clock, they would have a decision to make. And, we can't forget about Cam Newton, either.

Of course, if Palmer follows through and puts the Bengals in a situation where they would need to draft a quarterback, they wouldn't be able to draft somebody that could fill a glaring hole in their roster like we originally expected they would be able to do. A game changing defensive lineman (Nick Fairley), a pass rusher to compliment Carlos Dunlap (Da'Quan Bowers) or a wide receiver that would replace Chad Ochocinco (A.J. Green) would all be out of reach if they draft a quarterback first. The Bengals could really use one of those guys, actually, they could desperately use all of them.

Then there's the chance that they could select one of the original top picks and attempt to trade up to select Locker (the Bengals are coaching him in the Senior Bowl) or Newton, or they could write off 2011 as a rebuilding season and go after Luck in 2012 (doubtful). Who knows?

The Bengals may have been desperate for a player to fill a hole in the defensive line or wide receiver corps before Palmer dropped his bomb. Now, they may be more desperate for a quarterback than anything else. The Bengals draft picture just got really complicated.

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