Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton is having a fantastic rookie season. Along with matching last year's four wins on Sunday, he's completed 118 of 189 passes, which translates into a 62.4% completion rate. Dalton has posted a passing touchdown in five of his first six NFL starts, seven in all. During three of his first six games, Dalton has recorded a passer rating for 100 or better. Against the Indianapolis Colts, Dalton completed 78.1% of his passes for a season high passer rating of 111.5. Needless to say the rookie is light years ahead of where he should be and well on his way to being a more positively productive quarterback than the man threatening to retire. Case in point.
With 2:19 remaining in the second quarter, Andy Dalton drew defensive end Robert Mathis offsides, prompting center Kyle Cook to snap the football in shotgun. Mostly everyone on the defense stopped, as did the entire Bengals offensive line. Dalton took the snap and, considering that no whistle actually blew, continued the play by launching a nine-yard reception to Jerome Simpson. It converted the third down on a possession that eventually ended with a field goal as the first half expired. Comparatively speaking during his time in Cincinnati, Carson Palmer routinely dropped to a knee to kill the play after drawing the defense offsides; it's actually a more accepted practice in today's NFL. It's just one of many examples that differentiates Palmer and Andy Dalton, who has firmly settled into the role of starting quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals.
That being said, the Carson Palmer story will not go away just because Dalton is doing far more than we envisioned of the rookie quarterback. As long as Palmer remains with this team, there will always remain the chance of a quarterback controversy if the veteran quarterback were to set aside his retirement threat and return to the team. According to Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network, Palmer has been in direct contact with Mike Brown.
I do know this: Carson Palmer has been in direct contact, himself, with Brown. Those phone calls have proven to be fruitless. Each phone conversation they get further and further apart."
We're not exactly sure what "talks" could actually resolve at this point. Is Brown looking to recoup some of the signing $15 million signing bonus? Regardless in the end it looks like Carson Palmer could be the loser in this. Obviously fans would hate for Palmer to return, if only because they hate the guy for abandoning the team and it would take away from the intangibles that Dalton has that Palmer never showed (aka, leadership). Can you say that about the coaching staff or Mike Brown himself, so endeared with Palmer that he refuses to trade the guy, no matter what his public talking points are?
My personal position, in which I believe he should be traded to at least acquire a draft pick that could result in a starter or two, is irrelevant. Your position, similar I'm sure, is irrelevant, no matter how much common sense it will make. Trading Palmer does more good than keeping him in limbo just because principles dictate that you can't allow someone to have their way under a contract; it's not like players under contract that are released are playing under the same rules.
But in the end the story is slowly falling into descent. It will have some headline strength to it from now until the trading deadline but as well as Andy Dalton is playing, Palmer will soon be as remembered as much as Elvis Grbac until the end of the season -- and we couldn't be happier.