As I'm sure everyone knows by now Carson Palmer wants out, he's even willing to play the 'I'll retire' card to get out of Cincinnati. From the perspective of this Panthers fan I think Palmer was waiting and hoping for a regime chance in Cincy that appears wont happen yet due to Marvin Lewis' extension. As a result, Palmer looks on paper to be the best QB option available for trade and someone who could play as a stop-gap for the Panthers while Mike Shula can work with Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike to see if he believes either are future franchise QBs.
This doesn't mean he's without problems. On a scale of 1-10 with '1' being a player happy to be a mentor and '10' being a guy who wants to remain 'the guy' Palmer rates about an 11, and why shouldn't he? Palmer is still a 31 year old QB with plenty of tread left on the tires, despite what the court of public opinion says. Does he make some ill advised decisions? Yes, he sure does... but he still passed for 3,900 yards, 61.8% completion and 26 TD vs. 20 INT this season.
After the jump we'll look at three pros, and three cons of the Panthers making a run at Carson Palmer.
1. He's had success in the NFL: There was a time in 2005 and 2006 that Palmer was seen much as Aaron Rodgers is right now. That QB who sits just below Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in that 'Tier 1.5' level. He's a two-time Pro Bowler who definitely has the chops to be regarded as a top 15 QB despite his struggles in 2010.
2. Clausen knows him: If you're a QB from California there's a good chance the Clausen family knows you, and this goes for Jimmy. In an early interview Clausen said that he knew the Palmers (Carson and Jordan) as well as the Moores (Matt and brothers). We're not sure if they have anything more than passing interactions, but if Clausen and Palmer know each other well he could be a very positive influence.
3. It represents a good chance for the Panthers to trade down: Although any machination of trade could happen there's no denying that the Bengals would have interest in several of the players at the top of the draft. Perhaps fearful AJ Green wouldn't make it past Buffalo at #3 could peak the interest of a trade (provided there's a CBA to trade under). My immediate reaction would be the #1 overall pick, the Panthers 3rd rounder and a 6th rounder for Cincinnati's #4 overall, their second rounder and Carson Palmer. This would potentially allow Carolina to grab a very good player at #4 (or try and trade back further) while being able to address the TE position if Rudolph is available in the 2nd and add a QB to the mix.
1. He is threatening to retire: This represents a degree of narcissism rarely seen in NFL QBs. Do they pout sometimes? Sure... do they complain? Indeed. But threatening to retire doesn't really shed a positive light on someone who you're essentially asking to help mentor your young talent.
2. Could he work with Smitty? Palmer is known for not always having the best relationships with his WRs. His interactions with Chad Ochocinco could best be described as 'love hate'. More often than not this stems from both Palmer and #85 vying to be the top dog on the Bengals offense. How would Palmer deal with coming to a team where Steve Smith is, and has been the top dog on offense?
3. Will he mentor? It remains to be seen if Carson Palmer is the type to 'pay it forward'. Jon Kitna did it for him when he was a rookie, and it seems he's trying to pull his brother Jordan along, but would he be willing to do it for another QB? Much of this would be related to his relationship (or lack thereof) with Jimmy Clausen.
What do the Panther faithful think? As a stopgap do you think Carson Palmer could be a good fit in Carolina provided there's a CBA in place in order to trade for him?