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Hobson: The Bengals Don't Have to trade Palmer Now

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On Monday, we wrote about a rumor that the Seattle Seahawks could be interested in Cincinnati Bengals disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer. It isn't really hard to see how this would make sense, all you have to do is connect the dots. Palmer played for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll in college. The Seahawks need a quarterback now that it seems that Matt Hasselbeck won't be back with the team. Palmer wants out of Cincinnati and even though Mike Brown has been firm on his stance of not trading Palmer, his stance may be softening.

You can kind of see a series of events unfold out in front of the Bengals that could land Palmer in Seattle. Of course, the first event would be for the lockout to end. After all, the Bengals have Andy Dalton now and they'll probably try to sign a free agent quarterback. There's no need to keep a death grip on Palmer anymore, right?

The Mothership's Geoff Hobson tells another side of the possible story.

Of course the lockout makes all of the following pointless, but bear with me. If the Bengals had been allowed to trade Carson Palmer before the draft, and they felt inclined to do so, they would have traded him for draft picks. Now the draft is over. If they were going to trade him now, they would likely trade him for 2012 draft picks.

Now they have their quarterback in Andy Dalton and they filled the majority of their needs in the draft. Who could they possibly be desperate enough to get that they'd be willing to deal Palmer? Nobody, that's who.

Why trade for 2012 draft picks with another team when you don't even know what you're getting. The draft order isn't established and unless somebody is willing to give the Bengals a first, second and third-round pick (they won't), there's not much of a point in dealing Palmer to anybody.

If anything, the Dalton pick may make sure a trade doesn’t come off. Now the Bengals are not forced to do much of anything, although they are mulling a veteran free agent quarterback for a staff that has all of 14 NFL passes. Draft picks are going to have to be involved if they trade Palmer, so maybe they’re thinking why not wait until next year when a) they actually know what they’re trading for and the things have some value and b) they know what the rules of the draft are actually going to be.

The best case scenario for both sides now, is probably a compromise. Carson Palmer returns to the Bengals for the 2011 season with the agreement that Mike Brown trade him before the 2012 season. That way Palmer gets his trade and doesn't get rusty sitting on his couch for an entire season and the Bengals get the benefit of Dalton learning behind Palmer for a season before he's given the reins in 2012.

That makes sense to me. Both sides win a little and both sides lose a little. It sounds like the kind of deal that two reasonable men would make. Of course, who said that either Brown or Palmer were reasonable?

In the end, Hobson hits the nail right on the head when he says that regardless of what happens in the Carson Palmer saga, the best chance the Bengals have in 2011 to go back to the playoffs is to have Carson under center.

But their best short to contend is with No. 9; no one debates that.

"The Bengals are a good team," says Pete Prisco of "If Palmer is there, they’re in the mix. If he’s not, you have to scale that back. But they’re a team on the verge."

It doesn't much matter until the lockout comes to an end, but when that happens, it will be interesting to see what the Bengals decide to do with Palmer.