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Kurt Warner: Palmer Would Be Best Fit in Arizona

Come on down Andy Dalton! With the 35th overall pick in the draft the Bengals decided to address their hole at quarterback (technically it isn't a hole, but it most likely will be once the Carson Palmer saga comes to an end) by  selecting TCU's Andy Dalton to be the new apparent heir to Carson Palmer.

That leaves Palmer's status with the Bengals in limbo. Will he retire or will Bengals owner Mike Brown grant him the trade that he asked for? There are plenty of teams around the NFL, especially in the NFC West, that could use a quarterback. Former Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner, for one, believes that Palmer would fit best in Arizona.

Warner said Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt asked him about some veteran quarterbacks the team is looking at: Marc Bulger, Carson Palmer and Kevin Kolb.

“I would take Carson,” Warner said. He said Palmer is in a crazy situation, but he’d be a great fit in Arizona.

Of course, the current lockout doesn't allow teams to even think about their players let alone trade them, but once the lockout comes to an end, who knows what will happen.

The only thing that we do know is that by drafting Dalton the Bengals are preparing to transition from the Palmer era to the Dalton era. It will be interesting to see how smooth, or bumpy, that transition will be.

Mike Brown has repeatedly stated he has no intention of trading Palmer and at this point it's hard to fathom Brown even entertaining any trade offers for him. Let's not forget the offer Brown was proposed with by the Redskins for Chad Ochocinco. Washington offered a 2008 first rounder and a 2009 conditional pick that could have turned into another first rounder. We all know what Brown said to that. No, no way Jose, nada, no chance Lance (you get the point). So we shouldn't be optimistic that Brown will come to his senses in the present scenario.

Brown firmly believes that Palmer will suit up for the Bengals or he will walk away from the gridiron for good. 

Once the lockout is officially lifted Brown's cell phone will surely be ringing with other teams inquiring about Palmer's availability. What if Brown is given a tempting offer that he simply cannot refuse? Does he shift his stance? What would it take for him to change his stance? Palmer certainly could net a high draft pick for the next draft and another player, or even multiple draft picks.

If Brown gets an overwhelming offer that he rejects, then it might be time for coach Marvin Lewis to intervene and suggest that it's time to let Palmer go. This is going to end in one of two ways, either Palmer gets traded to another team or he retires. Instead of letting him retire why not aim to get something in return?

Marvin Lewis should do everything in his power to ensure that Palmer is traded. Don't let Palmer walk away when he still has some value, maybe not to the Bengals, but for another team in need of a quarterback.

Granted Palmer is 31, he still has value that could net an adequate package for his services. Palmer had a decent season where he passed for 26 touchdowns, 3,970 yards, and completed nearly 62 percent of his passes.

If Palmer does stick to his guns and retires if his trade request isn't met then the Bengals and all of Bengal nation will witness a shifting of the tides to rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.

Since this seems to be the most likely outcome, the new concern is whether or not Dalton is ready to lead the Bengals to victory, or is he being set-up for very limited success? It would be ideal to have Dalton sit a year in order for him to become accustomed to the league before he takes over at the helm.

One situation that would be ideal for both parties would be Palmer sticking around for one year then Brown trading Palmer the following offsesason. In this situation Palmer would be a mentor for Dalton, teaching him the ropes of the NFL and how to conduct himself in every situation. Palmer could give him tips on how to handle opposing defenses, how to communicate with his receivers, how to handle the media, etc. Then after the season ends Palmer would hand the reins over to Dalton, making the Bengals Dalton's team.

When Palmer first arrived in Cincinnati he had Jon Kitna there to rely on and teach him the ropes of playing in the NFL. Maybe Palmer will consider doing the same thing for Dalton. However, Palmer would have to get that agreement in writing, tape-recorded, stamped or tattooed on Brown's forehead so he doesn't have to worry about being betrayed and being stuck in Cincinnati.

This scenario only seems like a fantasy so I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

Knowing Brown though he will simply ignore any and all offers, ultimately causing more tension in the strained marriage between Palmer and Cincinnati. However, it might be best for the Bengals to end the chapter of the Carson Palmer era and turn the team over to Andy Dalton and begin a new chapter for the franchise.