Palmer to say ‘bye-bye Bengals’?



Column by Garrett Bonistalli. E-mail [email protected].

Pull the plug; it’s time to cut the lights on this soap opera we’re calling a relationship. It’s time to part ways and find someone new.

The public off-season feud between Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown and quarterback Carson Palmer has elevated to new heights. Palmer has said he would rather retire than play another down as a Bengal. Then, to prove he wasn’t messing around, he put his house on the market, and even more recently he reiterated the fact that he wants out of Cincinnati.

The Bengals are now in a think-fast situation — they can let Palmer go and look for a quarterback in the draft, via trade or they could keep Palmer, refuse his trade request and try to work things out

The Bengals currently own the fourth pick in this year’s draft and will more than likely seriously consider taking a quarterback. Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (3,186 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 232 rushing yards, 5 TDs), Washington’s Jake Locker (2,265 passing yards, 17 TDs, 385 yards rushing, 6 TDs) and Heisman Trophy Winner Cam Newton (2,854 yards passing, 30 TDs, 1,473 yards rushing, 20 TDs) of Auburn are the top three rated quarterbacks thus far, in that order, according to Scouts Inc.

If the Bengals choose not to take a quarterback with their pick they can opt to trade for one. The Titans have already said that Vince Young won’t be back next year. Donovan McNabb’s agent has said that his client would like to be traded out of D.C., and with MVP candidate Michael Vick recently signing his tender, it appears that backup Kevin Kolb’s ticket has all but been punched out of Philadelphia.

The Bengals entered the 2010 season ranked as the seventh youngest team in the league with an average age of 26.6 years old, according to

However, the nucleus of their offense (Palmer, 31, running back Cedric Benson, 28, and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, 33) is an average of 30.6 years old. And even though Palmer has lead the Bengals to two division titles (2005, 2009) in his tenure as quarterback, he is yet to ever win in the postseason. Along with that, his 20 interceptions were the third most in the league last year and his eight fourth-quarter interceptions were also tied for third most.

The two sides haven’t done much for each other lately in what is considered a “What have you done for me lately?” business. Bringing back Palmer for a ninth season would just be delaying the inevitable, which is his departure from Cincinnati.

The NFL draft is scheduled to begin April 28, and with somebody new likely in the cards, the Bengals and their future are on the clock. Tick tock.