Everyone knows Mike Brown is a very determined individual who won’t back down lightly. We’ve seen that many times during his ownership of the Cincinnati Bengals.
John Clayton dismissed a report on this blog that Carson Palmer was an option for the Seahawks on the Brock and Salk show. Yesterday during a further appearance on ESPN 710, he reiterated his view:
“No way Carson Palmer is available this year. Mike (Brown) is as stubborn a guy as there can be.”
It’s not an illogical point to make and on the sheer face value aspect of any potential trade, you’d have to side with Clayton. Michael Lombardi certainly does if his comments on the NFL Network are anything to go by. Yet it’s also a major presumption based on nothing other than form. Sometimes that’s enough to be proven right. It’s almost certainly not enough to completely avoid being proven wrong.
Bengals owner and president Mike Brown has said he will not trade Palmer, but sources say he may consider it if the team secures a quarterback and gets a favorable trade offer.
Here are the key issues that need to be considered and this is what I believe to be the truth according to trusted sources:
- Carson Palmer is moving to the west for family reasons whatever happens. He’s already initiating that move and will do so as a Seattle Seahawk or as a retired Cincinnati Bengal. Before the CBA expired both teams held talks and put the framework for a deal in place, but it could not be completed because the trade deadline never re-opened and the lockout began. The player is willing to re-negotiate his huge contract because money is of little relevance at this stage in his career. He’s willing to take less than Hasselbeck’s team were demanding before the lockout.
- Palmer wasn’t the only option at the time. Once the Bengals had accepted Palmer would no longer play for the team and with the decision made to pursue a new direction, they agreed to a revised and cheaper deal.
- Cincinnati’s draft plans went according to plan in the first two rounds, getting AJ Green at #4 and then taking the quarterback they wanted in round two. It couldn’t have gone any better for that organisation because they wanted a fresh start at quarterback and at receiver. They will move on at both positions, with as little drama as possible and with Andy Dalton the starting quarterback.
- The way to avoid drama is not to prevent Carson Palmer being traded to a team who will only be relevant to the Bengals in one meeting during the 2011 season. From a financial perspective, for the sake of their rookie quarterback and the mood among the roster whenever training camp does begin, they need to move on. By making the trade, they can do so on their terms. The potential tornado impact of a disgruntled Palmer turning up at camp isn’t worth contemplating for Cincinnati even if it would probably never get that far.
Situations can change and I’m not going to claim the trade is a lock or that the compensation of a 5th rounder and a conditional pick is set in stone. Even so, the information above is what I understand to be truth.
Is it the only option for the Seahawks? Personally, I think the time for Kevin Kolb has probably passed. When the #25 pick was in play, a deal made sense. It’s the area in which Kolb was originally drafted (36th overall, 2007) and would’ve afforded Philadelphia first round compensation which would’ve been difficult to turn down. The Seahawks receive a starting quarterback with NFL experience and don’t lose any stock for next year.
The 2011 draft has been completed and the chance for that deal was lost. Because of that the situation has surely changed completely?
If you’re the Seahawks, do you really trade unspecified 2012 picks for a 27-year-old quarterback? That would be a very dangerous move by this front office and one that would define the Pete Carroll era in Seattle. First of all you’d have to sign him to a new blockbuster contract. After all, this is your franchise quarterback. That would just add to the intense pressure on Kolb to have an immediate impact to justify the trade and salary.
If he succeeds and the Seahawks are once again picking in the 20′s, the gamble paid off in a big way. However, should Kolb struggle on an offense not containing DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, it would end up looking like a huge mistake. When you trade unknown picks there’s every chance it’ll be #1 overall rather than #25. Would you be satisfied losing a potential top five pick and a huge contract on a player who essentially bombed? At least with a rookie you expect that level of teething, but Kolb is a veteran. Everyone would expect instant success given the cost and the experience.
Of course if you truly believe in Kevin Kolb, you don’t think about the worse case scenario as much. But the Seahawks should consider it, fear it and that’s one of the reasons the Carson Palmer deal is much more attractive. You’re getting a cheaper player with a more proven track record. I mean, what exactly has Kolb done to justify a major investment? If Palmer struggles, the Seahawks could still have a first round pick next year to potentially address the position. Even if Palmer performs to a high standard, you will be afforded time to groom a replacement over the subsequent 1-2 years knowing by that point your quarterback will still only be 34 years old.
It is a much more attractive deal for the Seahawks, even if it is short term thinking. I understand re-signing Hasselbeck remains an option for two more years especially if the salary demands are lowered. However, he will be the oldest starting quarterback in the NFL in 2011. The four years that Palmer has on Hasselbeck will be worth the modest compensation it’ll take to bring him to Seattle.
When you dig into the situation a bit more, you come to realise why this is a good deal for Seattle, Cincinnati, Pete Carroll, Mike Brown, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton and whoever the Seahawks eventually draft or sign at quarterback for the long term.
And when you consider that, suddenly presumptions will change.