2005: Carson Palmer led the Bengals to their first home playoff game in like 800 years with his golden arm and bullet passes to Chad Johnson, T.J. Housmandzadeh and Chris Henry. Everything was working and I was happier than LeBron James' friends when he takes them out for a night on the town. Life was good.
The senior producer of NFL Films for 31 years and co-author of the book The Games That Changed The Game, Greg Cosell put Palmer right behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning at that time.
Carson Palmer intriguing. 2005-2007 3rd best QB in NFL behind Manning/Brady. Arm strength, pocket toughness, accuracy for a power thrower.
2010: Carson Palmer can't lead the Bengals offense out of a paper bag. His golden arm is rusty (can gold rust?) and, even though they spent more time together, Chad Ochocinco and Palmer seem to be reading different playbooks. Despite all the talent around him, the Bengals go 4-12 and Palmer demands a trade at the end of the season.
That drastic of a shift took place in only five years. What happened?
If you remember (I'm sure you do) in that playoff game in 2005, Carson Palmer's knee was disintegrated by Kimo Von AxMurderer. Then, and possibly more serious, Palmer sat out almost the entire 2008 season with an elbow ligament injury.
Now Cosell believes he's a completely different quarterback.
More Palmer. Based on fim study arm strength has decreased since injury. Not the same passer he was. Can't drive ball + make stick throws.
We've all argued back and forth about what Carson Palmer's trade value would be if the Bengals decided to pull the trigger when the lockout finally ends. On Monday, we examined other quarterback trades that took place between the years of 2007 and 2010 and, even though, so many of you have declared that you wouldn't accept anything other than a first-round pick in exchange for Palmer, his injuries and his lack of arm strength now would likely only get the Bengals a second-round pick at best. Most of you said that you would accept that, though.
The fact is, Carson Palmer isn't the same. It doesn't take a genius to say that. If we were trading him after the 2007 season, or maybe even after the 2009 season, then yes, I would expect a first-round pick in exchange. However, his performance, even during the 2009 playoff season isn't worth a first rounder. His arm isn't as strong and he's not nearly as accurate as he once was.
If Cosell knows this, then we can safely assume that any coach or general manager knows it too. To be honest, if I was in charge of finding a quarterback for a team like the 49ers, Seahawks or Cardinals, there's no way I'd offer up a first-round pick to the Bengals in exchange for a quarterback who doesn't play like he was drafted in the first round anymore.