Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer injected his name into NFL news this week by calling for a trade or else he will retire. With Palmer financially secured for the rest of his life one might think he will follow through on his retirement threat. We have seen this before with former quarterback Jake Plummer retiring early but how serious is Palmer? Bengals owner Mike Brown said he will not trade Palmer because he is a big part of the teams plans for rebuilding. NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi said the 49ers should make a call to inquire about trading for Palmer because his agent David Dunn is a representative for much of the 49ers front office and new head coach Jim Harbaugh. Lombardi also says to take the Bengals owner at his word when he says he will not trade Palmer.
Despite Palmer’s age, 31, and him having one of his worst seasons of his career in 2010 he would be a huge upgrade for the 49ers over the two Smith’s and David Carr. If Brown decides to trade Palmer the 49ers have an inside edge with him being from California and his wife growing up in the Bay Area, not to mention Palmer’s agent connection with the 49ers front office personnel. However how much is Palmer worth? Would he be worth the 49ers first-round draft pick this season and/or next season? Is he worth a second round draft pick?
There is no way the 49ers should trade any of their first-round picks for Palmer. Palmer is due over $50 million over the next four-years and if he came to the 49ers he would be a transition quarterback for the next two to three years as the 49ers groom their franchise quarterback taken in this year’s draft. I do think there is a franchise quarterback for the 49ers pick in the draft. Let’s hope the new front office can find the diamond in the rough.
The snag in trading for Palmer is there will most likely be no collective bargaining agreement in place before the NFL draft in April. Which means the 49ers can only draft players but cannot trade or sign any current players in the NFL. The longer the lockout lasts, which many people are predicting could run into the summer and the start of the regular season, makes it less likely the 49ers would trade for Palmer. At the end of the lockout I doubt the Bengals would want to trade Palmer for a first-round pick for 2011’s draft because the picks position value would not be known until the end of the season. I don’t think Bengals owner Mike Brown will trade Palmer because he knows there will be an NFL lockout and that is all the leverage he needs over Palmer. Palmer’s only leverage is his threat to retire if he does not get traded. I highly doubt Palmer will follow through so keep dreaming 49er Faithful.