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Analyzing the Palmer Question

One of the other Bengal Blogs reported (its gone now) that the Niners have already made a trade offer for Bengals QB Carson Palmer:

Rumor: The 49ers will contact the Bengals and offer them their 2nd round pick(#45) and 2 4th rounders(#107 and 114) in exchange for Palmer.

This comes on the heels of today’s news that Palmer’s home in Indian Hills will be put on the market in March, and that he’s been privately telling friends that he thinks the team doesn’t take his trade demands seriously.  Judging by the comments and gestures coming from behind the striped curtain, it would seem that he’s right. 

Mike Brown stated that the team has no interest in dealing Palmer, and felt his retirement threat was “impractical.” Marvin Lewis also seemed to downplay the situation at last Thursday’s news conference announcing Jay Gruden’s hiring. Lewis intimated that things will be different come training camp, and alluded to a “things change” posture while Brown has committed to meet with Palmer’s agent, David Dunn within “a couple weeks” to see what exactly is stuck in Palmer’s “craw.”

Reading tea leaves here, I tend to think that Brown is being historically consistent:  he’s going to be obstinant and deny the request as long as possible.  As with Chad Ochocinco, Carl Pickens, and Corey Dillon, the team does not have to honor the request since the player is under contract.  As long as Brown has the leverage, I suspect Palmer will have to walk the talk if he truly wants out. However, I do think that both Brown and Lewis want him back, and the changes made on offense had to have been, at least in part, an olive branch.

Much was made about Jay Gruden’s “quarterback-friendly” scheme, and that it should remind Carson of his USC days.  At the same time Gruden stated that he had not–and would not–call Palmer until instructed to do so by Lewis. That part seems like an odd posture if the team indeed wants Nine back on the bus.

At any rate there are two schools of thought here:

School one is that this team needs its franchise QB, and the team should do everything in their power to see if they can’t make Palmer a happy camper again.  He is, after all, a proven commodity, a former pro-bowler, has a winning record as a starting quarterback (barely, but no small feat in Cincy), has numerous come-from-behind wins on his resume and has led two playoff teams.

School number two suggests that the team cut ties and move on.  The team can get one of a few top-flight quarterbacks with the fourth overall pick in April, and there will be veteran stop-gaps to be had on the free agent market (assuming there’s a CBA).  Besides, school two will suggest that Palmer has lost his fastball, is injury-prone, and frankly lacks leadership.

As for me, I’ve been a Palmer supporter since 2003, and I’ve always defended him over the years, but I’m changing my stance based upon his.  If he doesn’t want to be the franchise quarterback in Cincinnati, then let him go, especially if there’s a rich market for him elsewhere.  Watching him in 2010, it seemed clear that either he had in fact lost his fastball, as his 20 interceptions will attest.  he could have had 30 too if it wasn’t for a series of stoney-pawed DB’s and LB’s.  His passes seemed to float quite a bit, and its clear that the elbow and knee injuries have made him a tentative in the pocket.

The thing that bothers me most though is the fact that Nine has never truly asserted himself as the leader of the team.  He’s no Peyton Manning or Dan Marino or Boomer Esiason when it comes to leading a team.  Heck, truth be told Jon Kitna was a better leader than Carson is.  And that to me, is what the offense really lacks.  The quarterback has to be able to be a coach on the field.  He’s gotta be able to shut Chad Ochocinco up, fire back at T.O., and inspire his teammates.  I haven’t seen that from the guy yet.  After 7 years, we probably never will.

That being the case, I say put the nuclear option on the table for the offense.  Consider trading Palmer to the highest bidder, and dump 85 for a pick or two while you’re at it.  Let Jay Gruden build his program from the ground up without a bunch of egos and prima donnas getting in the way.

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?  They’ll have a bad offense?  They already do with California Carson. They can’t be much worse with Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert.  And with a CBA that includes a rookie wage scale, perhaps we won’t have to worry about them holding out.

Bottom line:  Palmer is quitting on us, so let’s move on.

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One Response to “Analyzing the Palmer Question”

  1. Andrew says:

    This might come off as biased but I don’t care. Bengals should have been at this year’s Superbowl, point blank period. Albeit their shortcomings, you have T.O., Ochocinco, Dhani Jones and Palmer on one team? I just don’t get it.

    Speaking of Dhani Jones, my favorite player, have you seen him in the new Febreze commercials?

    What did you guys think of the Superbowl?

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