Not that it matters right now because of the lockout and lack of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, but CBS Sports' Clark Judge believes that the Bengals won't deal disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer, regardless of what they're offered. His reasoning: if folds to Palmer's request, it would open the door for other players to try to force Brown's hand.
He's probably right. Only Carson Palmer isn't another disgruntled player. He's is the team leader, someone who didn't complain, conducted himself with class and did what he could to make the Bengals better. In the end, it wasn't enough, and Palmer gave up. Now, he is finished with the Bengals, and I've heard it from too many people not to believe it. So has our GM.
Unfortunately, it seems that pride is the issue.
What would be best for the Bengals in the immediate future, would obviously be to trade Palmer to another team, possibly from the NFC West, in exchange for draft picks or players. That would give Cincinnati the best chance to be competitive in the immediate future. I know that, you know that, basically everybody knows that, including Marvin Lewis.
That's whose job it is to make sure that Mike Brown knows it too.
Essentially, the question is this: Can he convince Brown to deal Palmer for draft picks, players or both to get something of value this season? Most people believe he cannot, and that was reiterated by our GM who said he's certain Cincinnati won't budge on Palmer because of what it would mean for others.
Just think of all the teams that could use Palmer. Arizona went from Super Bowl contender with Kurt Warner to dud with Derek Anderson. Palmer could put them back on top of their division. Where they could use their No. 5 overall pick to grab Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert, they could deal it to Cincinnati for Palmer and have a quarterback with more experience and a better chance to take them back to the playoffs.
Then you have the San Francisco 49ers. They're in the same position, just a good quarterback away from being a playoff caliber team, especially in their weaker than weak division. And then the same goes for the Seattle Seahawks. Basically, the entire west coast minus the San Diego Chargers wouldn't mind getting their hands on Palmer.
NFL analyst Marshall Faulk agrees:
Carson Palmer, in the NFC West, with his old coach, Pete Carroll: what merger between these two guys. Listen, if you saw what he did with Mike Williams and how Mike Williams played for Pete Carroll, just imagine what a guy who won the Heisman under Pete Carroll would do there.
and the argument for Arizona:
If he does get traded, I think Arizona is a great fit for Carson Palmer. I think he goes out there, he has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to. Arizona needs to find a way to keep Steve Breaston. Tim Hightower is a free agent, if they can keep him, they're going to have weapons. And it will allow John Skelton to develop. He played decent at times last year. He got two out of their five wins at the end of the season there. I think if he is allowed time to develop behind a veteran quarterback, which Arizona knows they can go out and get a veteran quarterback a la Kurt Warner, and have success by plugging him in, I think they'll do a great job by doing that.
Unfortunately, all of this is just grouped into one massive pipe dream because the chances of Mike Brown doing what is right for the Bengals in 2011 are slim to none.
And of course, there's this: one thing that we haven't really thought about that Judge brings to our attention is could sitting out for a year, refusing to play because he wasn't traded, actually boost Carson Palmer's value in 2011?
But he also said that if Palmer is true to his word and retires it might increase his value for 2012, with teams believing that if he has that much of a conviction, is that disciplined, is that true to himself, then he's exactly the sort of quarterback they'd like as a leader.
If Brown decides he doesn't want to trade Palmer before the 2011 season, could that actually boost Palmer's demand in 2012 and put the Bengals in a prime spot to grab, say... Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft? Possibly.
And then, if that actually worked out, by 2020, Luck will be probably pulling the same move because he's tired of the Bengals too.