With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and Andy “The Red Rifle” Dalton seemingly winning the hearts and minds of Bengaldom, there has been increased speculation regarding Carson Palmer’s future. Officially, the team’s position is that Number Nine is retired, and they have no overriding reason to seek a trade. Nonetheless, they are holding steadfastly to his rights, and are maintaining the needed 11 million dollar salary cap cushion in case he decides to show up.
When asked earlier this week about his quarterback’s future, owner Mike Brown said bluntly, “I don’t have a thing to say about that.”
I wrote earlier this week–to some reader dissension–that a Palmer-led Bengal team would not necessarily be any better than this 3-2 Dalton squad, and I stand by that. A 3-2 start to the season is a pleasant surprise to most reasonable Bengal fans, with or wihout Palmer.
At any rate, it seems the Bengals have scored a rare coup in having found a quarterback of the future. Andy Dalton has the makings of a long-term answer at the position.
So why not deal Palmer now, before the Tuesday deadline? NFL.com’s Gil Brandt thinks it could happen. The trading partner he sees is Seattle, and Palmer’s college coach Pete Carroll:
Andy Dalton’s development has made Carson Palmer more expendable. Palmer played for Pete Carroll at USC, so there’s already a working relationship, and he would be able to help a team lacking a quarterback potentially win the NFC West.
In turn, Seattle would send receiver Doug Baldwin, the undrafted free agent who is off to a great start, and draft choices. The quality of the picks would be based on Palmer’s performance over the next two years. I’m not talking about numbers here, I mean wins and losses. If Seattle makes the playoffs in either year and Palmer starts 50 percent of the games, Cincinnati could get a first rounder. If he doesn’t start much, Seattle could potentially only give up a third-rounder.
This trade would give Seattle a QB for some years to come, as Palmer is only 31. Baldwin gives Cincinnati a good young receiver to pair with Dalton and A.J. Green.
It’s an interesting prospect. At worst, the Bengals get a 3rd round pick and Baldwin, a player who has shown a great deal of talent and potential. The Bengals could conceivably use some help there, with Jordan Shipley shelved for the season and Jerome Simpson’s future in doubt. If Palmer could manage to lead the Seahawks to the playoffs in the comparatively weak NFC West, then the pick could increase in value.
One school of thought is that his value may be peaking now. Teams like the Seahawks and Dolphins are desperate for help at the position, and Palmer could salvage something out of their season. Another school would say that the team should not rush into any deals, even if it means letting the deadline pass. Seattle and Miami will still need a quarterback after the season, and there’s only one Andrew Luck. Plus don’t discount other teams coming after CP in the offseason, like San Francisco, looking to upgrade over Alex Smith, or Oakland or Minneapolis. Both teams need an upgrade at the position and are coached by former Bengal assistants.
What do you think? Would you take the Brandt’s trade, or wait for a better deal in the offseason?