The Palmer name, which for the last few seasons has been a staple of the Bengals quarterback depth chart, is nowhere to be found.
At least for now.
Recent rumors suggested that Carson Palmer was not happy with the way his younger brother Jordan was being treated by the Bengals in training camp. Backup Jordan Palmer had organized team workouts in the offseason, helping the skill position players to learn the intricacies of Jay Gruden’s new offense. Then, he was relegated to third quarterback once training camp started, getting few reps in practice and limited opportunities in preseason games. Yesterday, he was released.
And surely, Carson Palmer is unhappy again. So what does he do now?
Carsom Palmer could show up at any point and force the Bengals next move. The team would have to either pay him his salary for the season (likely fining him for all the missed practices), release him, or attempt to work out a trade. The Bengals have enough cap space available to carry Palmer’s estimated $11.6 million salary. But Palmer’s presence would create a very awkward situation with Andy Dalton being installed as the new starter and a locker room that might be lukewarm at best to Carson’s arrival.
You would imagine the team would prefer its former franchise quarterback to stay retired. But what if he doesn’t?
The team will not cut him. Quite frankly, the Bengals have to get something in return for Palmer if he goes somewhere else. My guess is that Palmer will become the starter once again if he returns, but it will also create an extremely awkward and potentially toxic situation inside the locker room. The best-case scenarios is that Carson Palmer stays retired until the team can trade him, either this season or before the next one.
But the Bengals can’t control that. Carson is in control now and no one knows what his next move will be.
With both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens gone, it’s been a relatively quiet training camp for the Bengals. But all that will change quickly if Carson returns.
The saga surely isn’t over yet.