The latest on the Carson Palmer situation

On April 26th we reported information that a trade between the Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer was in the pipeline. Some people disputed that information on the basis that Bengals owner Mike Brown wouldn’t be prepared to make a deal, an issue I addressed here and here.

One of the journalists sceptical of a potential trade is Joe Reedy from the Cincinnati Enquirer. He reported this week that Palmer had successfully sold his house in Ohio. We’ve been reporting for some time now that regardless of whether a trade was eventually completed, Palmer would be moving to the Pacific North West. Two sources have confirmed that information, with Palmer’s decision believed to be family orientated.

Today a twitter account under the name of ‘Dolphin Blog’ tweeted the following

“Carson Palmer’s twin children seen with their nanny in Issaquah, WA a few miles from the Seahawks training facility. Any news on this?”

The validity of this source is unknown and comes with a degree of scepticism as the Dolphin Blog account only has sixty tweets to it’s name and doesn’t list a URL. While the information may prove to be true, it doesn’t really do anything to confirm what we’ve been reporting on a potential trade. I’ll stress again that Palmer is making the move to the North West regardless of whether he is traded to Seattle or not. Essentially, he will be a Seahawk in 2011 or retired, he is not willing to consider a trade to any other team for geographical purposes. Although many would fairly assume that would further increase the unlikelihood of any potential deal, I understand Cincinnati have ‘played ball’, are willing to avoid any further issues when the lockout ends and want to move on.

Here’s what I wrote on May 2nd:

“Carson Palmer is moving to the pacific north 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. Palmer has made it quite clear he will only accept a trade to the Seahawksbecause of this situation. 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’s threats to retire were real, but also made in reaction to Cincinnati’s decision to announce publicly that he’d requested a trade – something he didn’t expect. The quarterback felt a move was best for both parties and wanted it to be an amicable split initiated behind the scenes. The Bengals have since moved on by drafting Andy Dalton who should start as a rookie if the 2011 season ever begins. Although reports elsewhere tout battle lines being drawn, I think both parties are less entrenched than some think and there’s a very real sense that a deal is possible. That’s not to say that things can’t change because while the NFL is mired in litigation, nothing can officially be completed. However, two sources used the words ‘done deal’ to describe Palmer’s potential move to the Seahawks.


  1. Hawksfan33

    Interesting.. It definitely seems as though palmer will be a seahawk… the question seems to be How soon? If palmer were to retire as a bengal, are there any rules to where he may have to sit out a year or something before he can sign with another team?

  2. Morgan

    To play for us next year, he’d have to be traded. If you retire mid-contract I think your team hold your rights until the contract years have passed.

  3. woofu

    It has been funny watching the mediots speculate Palmer to Miami despite the common knowledge of the PNW destination.

    I am trying to justify in my mind a sign and trade Matt for Palmer scenarios because keeping both and CW makes little sense to me.

    • Rob

      If you bring in Palmer, you don’t re-sign Hasselbeck… and vice versa.

  4. Jim Q.

    Could it be possible that Carson Palmer is just one of several options, as in plan A, B, C, D, etc.? If Hasselbeck, Orton, Young, UDFA, et. al. are in some form of consideration, maybe we just don’t know the sequence of priority?

    I. E. If Hass can’t be signed, Palmer is next maybe? If both gone, Orton, or someone else????

    • Rob

      Very possible, very likely.

      I think if Hasselbeck was the #1 option they would’ve re-signed him already. If you absolutely want your current starting quarterback to be back next year, you re-sign them during the season… before the end of the CBA or you franchise him. I’m not sure you allow your quarterback to test free agency if he’s your #1 choice. Now I know for sure that Hasselbeck is still part of their plans, but I think he may be ‘Plan B’ after Palmer.

  5. Cliff

    Rob, If Hasselbeck leaves and signs elsewhere such as with Minn or the Titans do you think we’d get a 4th round comp pick for him?

    • ba_edwards24

      Considering the Panthers got a 3rd for Julius Peppers I’d say Hass is worth somewhere between a 7th and a wet fart.

      • Misfit74

        Pretty much. Though I could do without the visual. 😛

        • Rob

          I think it’s very doubtful the Seahawks would get a 4th round pick in that situation.

  6. Johnny B.

    The Palmer deal was in the works long ago. I have seen reports that they told Hass about that up front and that he is just waiting to see if that goes through. I believe the A B and C plan is Palmer, resign Hass, &/or Tarvarius Jackson. Jackson may come in to compete for the #2 spot regardless, just because of how highly Bevell thinks of him and his knowledge of the offense. He could be a decent option if the lockout looms and we get little or no camp. I am not a huge fan of this but does make some sense due to his playing for Bevell for many years and his knowledge of the offense. I think the Palmer deal is done and we are currently finding competition for #2 qb.

  7. James

    John and Pete have used their first two #1 draft picks on offensive tackles, plus adding Moffitt to go with Unger. A foundation of a top-quality offensive line and a real running game behind Beast Mode, Forsett and Washington, allows them to commit to a pure Marino-style dropback passer. If Carson Palmer has time to stand in the pocket long enough to do his progressions, with his rocket arm, he can be a franchise QB again. I agree that this appears to be Plan A, and in fact may be a done deal as Rob’s sources say, with Hasselbeck as Plan B, and Whitehurst as Plan C. It makes a lot of sense for Bevell to bring in Jackson as a backup since he knows the offense and has starting experience. Palmer is only 31, so should have 5 good years left, and John and Pete can have time to find a hidden gem in the later rounds. They have no plans to go 2-14 to land Luck or Barkley, we can be sure of that.

    • Johnny B.

      “They have no plans to go 2-14 to land Luck or Barkley, we can be sure of that.”
      right on, sooo many people think we should tank the season to get Luck or Barkley. That is not how you make a football team. You play to win, and give yourself every advantage to win now. what if we did that last year to get Locker. i agree with you 100% but also we need to get a fullback. If Konz is the answer, awesome, but our fullback needs to put fear into the linebackers with his blocking abilities, not just his pass catching. let them get a little tentative about taking him on, like Mack Strong, that is one less guy the o line has to worry about.

    • Don

      I dissagree with you 100 %. Why would the Seahawks want to get an older has-been QB ? So the team can over acheive and go 7-9 again? Maybe go 8-8 and win the Super Bowl? Take off the Seahawk glasses.

      Why put your hopes in Palmer or any older second level QB? That is like putting duck tape on a sinking ship, you are only delaying the enivitable. If palmer were QB the Seahawk fans would get a few cheap thrills during the season, end up being another average team and miss the playoffs, and end up with the 18th pick in the draft. Goodbye franchise QB’s. We fans would be right back where we are now wondering why we can’t get any franchise QB’s. According to you, you would put your faith in “finding a hidden gem in the later rounds” That is the exception to the rule. There is a proven track record that the best QB’s are found early in the first round.

      If there is a year to be bad, this is the year. There are 3 franchise can’t miss QB’s out there and Seattle should do everything to get one. You may be happy with 8-8 seasons, but I want more.

      • Brandon Adams

        “There are 3 franchise can’t miss QB’s out there”

        That statement is just as uncertain as “finding a hidden gem in the later rounds”. You don’t have any idea what next year’s draft will look like. For Seattle to tank a season hoping for the best draft class available would be idiotic.

      • D

        A culture on a team in any sport is always and will always be more important than any star player. 55 players giving all they have to win because that’s how you do things in that team will create success for themselves. That’s why the Steelers remain competitive every single year, that’s why any game against the Ravens is the other teams to loose. That’s why the best team talent wise doesn’t win every year. That why Lombardi is a legend and so on and so forth.

        Tanking a season to get a high draft pick is comparable to shooting yourselves in the foot with a shot gun, sure it makes theoretical sense but only if you live in Bizzaro world.

        • Don

          Oh Yes, the Steelers. You say we should use them as the model for the Seahawks? In 2003 they went 6-10 , got the 11th pick in the draft and got Roethlisberger. So they had to be bad one year to get him. The other QB that was taken before him was #1 manning and #4 Rivers, are they any good? With the 23rd pick, Buffalo picked some nobody named Loseman. I bet they wished they lost a few more games.

          Yes the Steelers, a dynasty with a 6-10 season picking a franchise QB. It just proves my point.

          • D

            I do not think that taking the Steelers as an example of a successful team is totally wrong. In fact in my world, yes even though I hate the Steelers, they are one of the better teams out there in football and have consistently been a handful for any team. Can they win without a star quaterback? I think last season showed that they can. They even win with a gimpy OL for crying out loud.

            Look, taking Rivers and Manning as examples and neglecting all other picks is the very definition of a small and bias sample size and does little to sway me to your thinking. “Leaf, Rogers blah blah” and so on and so forth. You and me drawing up examples and counterexamples is pretty dull and childlish so let’s not do that.

            Also I do not think that the Steelers had a plan to go 6-10 that season. They were fighting to win every single game if you ask me and they were the better for it the next season.

            I think my point still has merit. You need to form a winning, tough competitive culture on a team. If you do not do that you’ll be picking early every year… I don’t want the Hawks to be a LIons look alike.

      • Darnell

        I just can’t hope for losing in the name of hopefully, possibly being able to draft a franchise QB in the hope that there maybe will be one available an entire year from now.

        I prefer the Ravens,Steelers and Packers blueprint; build a strong franchise and try to compete every year no matter who the QB is (be it Kordell Stewart,Tommy Maddox, Kyle Boller, Trent Dilfer, an old Steve McNair) and then if the opportunity is the there to grab a QB that you really like you pull the trigger like they did on Roethlisberger,Flacco and Rodgers.

        • Don

          I’m sorry, I don’t agree. I can hope to lose knowing there will be 2 or 3 franchise QB’s there waiting. I do agree that the Seahawks build a strong franchise, but your way requires a very long time and a lot of luck.

          I prefere the Dallas Cowboy way. Get the #1 pick and get Aikman. Then the following year hold back your team by putting every starter on IR who gets a hang nail and play your second and third stringers. Get another high pick and get Emmitt Smith. Then in a couple of years win the first of 3 super bowls. Proven track record.

          The thing is, the Seahawks don’t even have to try that hard to be bad. Just let the second and third stringers play, throw Whitehurst out there, develop some young talent, and let nature take its course. You really think Palmer will take us to the super bowl? A year later we still wont have a long term solution at QB

          • Daniel

            Wow, if my team EVER tried to lose intentionally to obtain a high draft pick then I would find a new team immediately. How can you possibly think that it is best for the team to forfeit next season fully aware of just how close we came this year with an average team at best. It is funny that fans of this team should be applauding for what you call the Cowboys method, when the only Super Bowl this team has ever been to was because of years of stability winning the NFC West for consecutive years, just like PC has started of doing this year.

            If Palmer indeed will become a Seahawk, then i think this team would be a potentially Super Bowl contender. If our young and talented offensive line can get it together just about midseason, then we will have a pretty good running game, and if you consider just how effective the passing was with Hass last year, even though the running game was unexciting the entire season, then I would think our receiving core will be a LOT better with Palmer under center.

            And because of the fact that our offense now will manage to take more time of the clock, our defense will automatically improve.

            Hopefully the lockout will end soon, so the talk about aiming to lose can end. It’s pretty exhausting to read if I have to be completely honest. 😉

          • Don

            Actually, the Seahawks are a long way from contending for the super bowl, and a Palmer or any veteran QB will not put them over over the top. The Seahawks were 7-9 in the worst division in football for a reason. Getting palmer will only make the seahawks average and lesson the chances of getting a franchise QB.

            I am not saying tank, I am saying don’t give up any draft picks for a QB, because the seahawks are rebuilding and need all of them. . Even the steelers had to be bad one year to get their QB. Just play with the players you have now and see what happens.

          • D

            Don, (please see my other reply above) are you suggesting sitting the starters?

  8. Casey

    What is Palmer’s tie to the PNW? Why is he moving to the PNW with or without football?

    • Rob

      Family reasons.

  9. D

    The plot thickens. At first I thought little of these rumours but now it actually looks as if this might happen!?

    i can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I would be. At this point Palmer is a huge upgrade over Hass and (I am nothing if not a Hass-fan) would buy the organisation a fighting chance in the NFC West for the next couple years.

  10. Damon

    “If there is a year to be bad, this is the year. There are 3 franchise can’t miss QB’s out there and Seattle should do everything to get one. You may be happy with 8-8 seasons, but I want more.”

    Don – The above is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. You’re not happy with 8-8 seasons (even if they get you into the playoffs?) yet you are willing to tank an entire season in the hopes that three years from now, we will have our franchise QB ready to start? And that’s the best way to go about finding that guy? Give me a break.

    • Don

      Damon, I am not saying tank. In fact, can you find anywhere that I mentioned “tank”? No. I recommend not giving up any draft picks to get a QB so the Seahawks can be 8-8 average. What is the point of that? You lose the picks, and you lose the high #1 draft pick to get a good QB.

      If there is a year to be bad, this is it. That is correct. There are 3 very QB, why miss out on one of them? It has been mentioned by several experts that the 3 QB’s are better than any of the QB’s in this years draft.

      There is never a guarantee about predicting how good anyone will be, but the track record shows that you stand a better chance of getting the best QB with the earliest picks. Maybe you didn’t figure that out, you asked for a break so I gave you one.

      • Charlie

        No one said were giving up a first round pick, and you did say “I prefere the Dallas Cowboy way. Get the #1 pick and get Aikman. Then the following year hold back your team by putting every starter on IR who gets a hang nail and play your second and third stringers.”

        Thats the definition of “tanking” for the sake of a draft pick. This isnt madden, you cant just skip ahead three seasons and get tons of great players. Even today, i would not give up the seahawks playoff magic against the saints for the ability to draft locker or gabbert, or any other player such as nick fairley. A true fan would never hope to lose for the sake of a draft pick, thats truly ridiculous.

  11. Jim Q.

    OK so here is a thought to rip to pieces guys…….

    In the days shortly after the lockout ends, re-sign Hassellbeck to a new contract and then trade him to the Bengals for Palmer straight up (and toss them a 5-th round draft pick as additional compensation if necessary) with Palmer restructuring his contact in Seattle for a 2-3 year deal with less $ and performance based optional renewals.

    Hass could be a very good stop-gap QB & mentor to their new QB and Palmer would get his wish. He’d be a short term stop-gap as well for 2-3 years (with performance options) but should be happy and productive, leave Whitehurst as backup QB and have him compete with an UDFA for QB #3, the winner of which gets a contract for a QB #2 position, the other gets cut (or traded, if possible). In the 2012 draft, a QBOTF may be found that can come in and learn for a year+ and all is well in Seahawk land.

    QB problems are then solved on both teams for 2-3 years and the overall $ can be structured as a push or close to a push for both teams. Brown in this instance isn’t being played or dictated to, he’s getting good value in return for a QB swap and can “save face.” Win, Win.

    • Scott

      As much as I hate to see it happen, I tend to agree with you. I think that is what they would like to do. I like Matt and would like to see him finish here. If not, finding him another starting gig seems like a win win for all.

      Carson Palmer is clearly the best fit for PC. He has mobility and a rocket arm. PC wants to throw more deep balls. I don’t think we have the WR’s for that but we shall see. I think PC is too old for a total rebuild around a rookie QB. He wants to win now because he may only have 5 years to make his mark in the NFL before he retires from coaching. Palmer is a guy that he had great success with at USC.

    • Chavac

      Why would Matt sign with us just to be traded? He would essentially not only be giving up his ability to choose where he goes in FA, but he would be going to a non-contender with young players who won’t develop until he’s basically out of the league. It makes sense for us, makes a tiny bit of sense for the Bengals, and no sense at all for Matt.

  12. Bruce M.

    I’m just not sure the “mobility and rocket arm” tag fits ol’ Carson very well any more, that’s a the problem I see. He’s still got more juice than Hass in that thing, but it’s not a real gun any more.

    I don’t think mobility is Hass’ problem, either. He still gets around fine, so long as he’s not hurting too bad. Giraffe on skates, and all that, but he’s not a true liability there. He’s not Vick, but that describes a lot of qbs. Including Palmer.

    All that said, I’d trade a conditional 3rd and a 5th for him. Hard to lose at that price.

    • Don

      What benefit would Palmer or any QB give us, an 8-8 record, and the 18th pick in the draft. You give up a 3rd and a 5th, and a high draft that will solve your long term QB needs. Play with the players you have, see what Hass and Whitehurst can do, develop the young talent you have, and get a top 5 pick in the draft.

      If the Seahwks were talented on offense and defense and just lacked a QB for a superbowl (see Vikings), then I would agree. But they are far from that. They need to address their long term solution at QB, and patching it with Palmer, farvre, or anyone will just make the Seahwks worse in the long run.

      • Don

        By the way, John Elway, the GM for Denver, is getting rid of their starting QB Orton. If there is a person who knows first hand what a franchise QB can do by taking an average team to the super bowl (back in the 80’s) and wining 2 superbowls in the 90’s, its Elway. He has his sights on Luck and is getting rid of his experienced QB. He will let Tebow play and see if he is the future or not. If not, he has Luck on his side.

      • Jim Q.

        How many fans would buy tickets to an NFL game with their home team tanking the season?

        Even the perception that the coaches and players are “going through the motions” is enough to turn many, many fans off, not to mention the LOSING record.

        The very thought of not playing to win is sick & sounds like bankruptcy waiting to happen to me.

  13. Bruce M.

    Nonsense. You can’t play for Luck. At most, you can play for a top 5-10 pick. Elway can play Tebow all he wants, but he won’t have “Luck on his side”, because that implies a sure thing, and it ain’t no sure thing that Luck will be there when he picks. Even if there are 3 franchise-type Qbs in the draft next year (and we’ll see about that one), a team could pick, say, 5th, and not be guaranteed to get one of them. That team would feel pretty stupid. Especially if it overachieved, and went 6-10 or something….

    GMs and coaches don’t think like that any more, any more, if they every did. Nobody but the owner is safe from getting canned if a team sucks for three consecutive years. GMs know that, and so do coaches. Some coaches and GMs have survived that, others haven’t. What coach or GM would want to take that risk? Putting aside what tanking (i.e., making no moves to improve your team and going with sub-standard, or young, talent) would mean to the team’s morale, it could have very definite effects on a team’s management personnel.

    Carrol think he can take 8-8 talent and turn it into a playoff contender, that might get lucky and make a real run. Many coaches have the same conceit. They sure as hell would prefer to take their chances doing that then sucking for 2-3 seasons in the hope that they will still be the coach when the Savior QB is ready to play.

  14. Don

    Bruce M: Nonesense back. So typical, take an argument that you dissagree with and exagerate it so it is not what I meant. Did I say the Seahawks should suck for 2-3 years? No.

    The “luck on his side” was meant to be a funny play on words, but you didn’t get it, obviously. It was not to be taken literally. We all know there are no guarantees when it comes to the outcome of draft picks. Nobody can predict the future.

    Let me spell it out for you. The teams that trade their draft picks for veteren players are the ones that are contenders and have the talent to go far in the draft. They are looking for an experienced player in a specific role to get them over the top. Seattle is not in that position.

    Seattle is in the rebuilding mode. Building a team through the draft is the best way for long term success. So why should Seattle be willing to spend draft picks for a QB that really won’t make that much difference? All that would do is create false hope in the fans and end up with an average record, picking somewhere in the 16-22nd range, and missing out on one of the three top QBs that will make a difference for many years to come.

    Play Whitehurst as the starter, Hass as the backup. They already spent a 3rd rd pick on him. Do what Denver is going to do, be realistic about where your team is at, play the younger players so they will develop, keep all of your draft picks and trade veterens with value for more draft picks if possible. Hopefully get a top 5 pick in the draft and get a franchise QB for the long term.

    Is that so hard to understand? They are not ready to contend in the playoffs yet.

    • Don

      Correction: the third paragraph, second sentence should say ” …and have the talent to go far in the playoffs” , not draft. Please make a note of that in your guidebooks. 🙂

    • Charlie

      It’s easy to understand, it’s just a ridiculous argument. Like I said before, this isn’t madden, throwing young players out to “develop” on the field doesn’t just automatically make them better. If golden Tate is bad at running routes when he steps on the field he won’t be better when he steps off, it’s something that takes teaching, not game experience. True fans never want their team to lose ever. High draft picks are just consellation prizes for horribly painful to watch seasons

      • D

        -Isn’t the whole idea a big middle finger to people who pay to see and follow their team. Let’s “develop” and loose some winable games and then after some high draft picks we might be able to make a run in the play offs? Not cool and counter productive.
        -How would you explain to a veteran starter that the young guy next to him, the same guy who messes up in practice, is taking snaps from him? How do keep that veteran on the team for the next couple of years and how do get him to play his heart out for you?
        -Is it reasonable to put a young QB in a position were you say: “Hi, we sucked for a few years so we could get you. Could you now please make this team win?”
        -You try and say to Pete Carroll that he should lay off the COMPETE-o-rama for 2011 and you’ll never ever see a coaching staff retire that fast.
        -The Hawks were for many years considered “soft”. You smack them in the mouth and they get anxious. This is starting to change. THAT’s how you take a step towards winning more games. Not but playing high stakes hazard in the draft.
        -Culture on a team will always triumph the importance of any star player. Aiming for a high draft pick is no way to build a healty culture.

        Don, I hear what you are saying but it makes very little sense to me. I have been palying football for 10 seasons (hi, european here) and my experience tells me that when you have a team that wants to get after it, that’s when the fun beginns.

        I am withdrawing now from this argument as it seem as if I will just start to repeat my argument but louder next time around and we do not want that now do we.

  15. Bruce M.

    You didn’t say it, but that is quite likely to happen– unless Whitehurst is better than he’s shown, and Hass, even if re-signed, can stay healthy. A good QB who knows what he is doing is vital to a team with holes. Without one, it’s 2-3 years of suckage, at least.

    Trading draft pics like a 5 and a conditional 3 is not exactly forsaking the opportunity to “build in the draft,” either. They gave up a hard 3 to pay Whitehurst $8 million for two years. A soft 3 and a 5 is a bargain for Palmer comparatively.

    Finally, you did not respond to my chief point—no coach, and especially not this coach, is going to knowingly risk his job over a 2-3 year period in the hope we get a draft choice high enough to land Luck or his equivalent. No GM, either. Ain’t gonna happen, IF either can do anything to avoid it.

  16. woofu

    This guy at NFP, sums up Mike Browns position pretty well,,,

    “The thinking is “If I allow the precedent to be set down that players can force their way out of town, the floodgates could open and God only knows who and how many are next.”

    Brown likely realizes that Cincinnati is not exactly the most desirable place to be, and figures that the 2nd round pick he’d get for Palmer is a worth sacrifice to demonstrate to players that no one forces their way out of town.

    If Palmer breaks and comes back, Brown wins.
    If Palmer retires, Brown has shown players not to publicly try to force their way out.”

    One part in particular is the “not the most desirable place to be “, depiction. Brown has been assailed for his way of handling his franchise. Underscore “his”, because it is. No indoor practice facility, etc.. Brown wants to run the club a certain way and todays players have a disconnect with “old school” ways. So indeed, Mike Brown is fully aware of what he is protecting.

    The irony is that what Brown wants to preserve is at the heart of the current player/owner stalemate,,,,utter FA.

    • Jim Q.

      I would guess that one doesn’t become an NFL owner or GM without superior negotiation skills. Mr. Brown is obviously “posturing” for the purpose of negotiation with Palmer. As stated in the seahawks draft blog, it’s all about pre-negotiation hype to attempt to enhance the ownership’s position in the end game with Palmer.

  17. sluggo


    We now have a young and BIG NASTY o=line, We will be a hard nosed smashmouth running team now. I think Matt could make something happen with a good line and a running game.

    The only tanking that will be going on is when our big Oline pancakes the other team like a tank.

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