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Bengals Proceeding As If Carson Palmer Is Gone: Interviewing Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert And "Other Quarterbacks"

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The Cincinnati Bengals will be pursuing this offseason as if Carson Palmer wouldn't be on the opening day roster to kickoff the 2011 season, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said on Friday. When asked if the quarterback to start the 2011 season is on the current roster, Marvin Lewis said:

"I don't know that. All I know is what's been said and that's how I'm proceeding."

Aside from the uncertainty with Carson Palmer, Jordan Palmer is a restricted free agent, leaving quarterback Dan LeFevour on the roster as the only other quarterback signed through 2011. His contract ends after next season.

So that means that the Bengals are taking a serious look at quarterbacks in this year's draft.

The Bengals are planning to interview quarterback Cam Newton on Friday. And according to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, the Bengals are also talking to Blaine Gabbert and "other juniors", who we can only assume to include Arkansas' Ryan Mallett.

Now we know that the team is taking Palmer's threat seriously to the point that they're doing due-diligence to draft a quarterback to replace the franchise quarterback.