Last night, a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen indicated that Bengals QB Carson Palmer wants to be traded. Moreover, Palmer would contemplate retiring if he does not get his wish.
The first thing that came to my mind was: Would the Niners try to get him?
Apparently, this morning, Bengals Owner Mike Brown has already said that he is NOT going to trade the QB. I take it with a grain of salt. I mean, what else is he supposed to say. The Bengals-a team with no upside, in my opinion-would be absolutely nothing without Carson Palmer. Currently, Palmer’s backups are Jordan Palmer (Yes, Carson’s little brother), and Dan LeFevour. If I was Mike Brown, I would say the same; Carson Palmer won’t get traded.
The majority of times, the story drags out for a while and nothing ends up happening. In this case however, I hope something indeed happens.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Palmer started out his career nicely and had he remained injury-free since he got drafted, he might have been one of the premier QBs in the league today. But the reality is that he teared both his ACL and MCL in a 2005 playoff game. He bounced back, but has not been dominating. He also missed 12 games during the 2008 season due to an elbow injury.
There are plenty of accounts out there that say Palmer is finished. I don’t buy any of it. That may be due to the fact that I want to see him play for the Niners. Palmer, 31 years old, still has plenty left in him to make a mark in the NFL. However, that will never happen if he remains in Cincinnati.
The Niners would be smart to go after him when Mike Brown realizes that Palmer truly wants out and will no longer play for the Bengals. The Niners, however, will not be the only team in the running for Palmer. Teams such as the Vikings, Titans, will defintely make a push for him. Our division rivals-Seahawks, and Cardinals- would be smart to contemplate it as well. You can never count Dan Snyder and the Redskins out, especially with the way they poorly handled the Donovan McNabb situation. So, if the Ninerrs do want him, they can expect some legitimate competition for his services.
The Niners are in dire need of a QB. San Francisco is at an advantage because Palmer is from California. That alone will not do it, but it is a start. His wife also ails from Cali and they probably want to move their family back to the West Coast. Palmer is undoubtedly tired of all the losing in Cincinnati, and as bad as San Francisco has been recently, their situation is better than that of the Bengals. Jim Harbaugh will improve the Niners and has worked diligently with QBs in the past. If Palmer ends up having any say in who he gets traded to, I expect San Francisco to get a really good look, regardless of the other opportunities he’s got out there. No team will be a lock to get him, unless a team moves to L.A. (Palmer played at USC) by next season-and that won’t happen.
Palmer should not rescind from his stance. He needs to show the Bengals that he is serious about moving on. The Bengals, on the other hand, would be wise to get some value for him in return or they risk losing him altogether for absolutely NOTHING.
How this plays out is the great unknown. With labor uncertainty looming over the NFL, maybe nothing will happen. The Bengals have already shown that they are not ready to give in to his demands and intend to keep him. The Niners have let too many opportunities to grab QBs come and go. For example: not drafing Aaron Rodgers, and not making a move for McNabb (I don’t think he is done). If the Niners brass is serious about contending for the Super Bowl, they need to make a move and go after Carson Palmer.