According to ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, a Bengals front office source believes that Carson Palmer could come back next week, forcing the team to make a decision on its former franchise quarterback.
“Why wouldn’t he just show up and say, ‘I’ll take my $11.5 million,” NFL Network’s Rich Eisen said about the situation. “You either pay me that much as a backup or get rid of me. Why wouldn’t he do that?”
Eisen also said that Jason La Canfora, also of the NFL Network, doesn’t believe Palmer’s return is imminent. But if Palmer does show up, there are only three options.
Cut him. Trade him. Or pay him.
The last option, is an expensive one, but it makes the most sense. Palmer’s presence would create a potentially volatile situation in the locker room.
What should the team do next?
My guess is that Mike Brown will first fine Palmer for all the practices he’s missed (believed to be about $30,000 a day). Then, he’ll have to figure something out.
As I’ve said before, no one will out-stubborn Mike Brown. But is Brown willing to pay Palmer $11.5 million (his salary this season) to prove a point?
I hope so. Otherwise, the Bengals might get next to nothing in exchange for a No. 1 overall pick. If the team does consider a trade, one possible partner might be Seattle, where former USC coach Pete Carroll is on the sidelines and starter Tarvaris Jackson has played poorly in the preseason.
The Seahwaks might be desperate enough to give up something of value. Otherwise, we could be watching an ugly soap opera play out in the middle of the season.
Earlier in the offseason, I would have been okay with Palmer’s return. But not now.
This is one comeback I’m rooting against.