Behind Kevin Kolb, there hasn’t been as much of a talked about quarterback (non-draft QB I mean) as Palmer, and why not. He’s in the prime of his career, has the perfect build and has experience and success in his past. His issue is the Bengals. It’s hard to disagree with Palmer’s assessment of his career with the Bengals. Marvin Lewis is a decent coach, but he cannot get it done. Their owner continues to bring in mediocre talent and overlook character concerns.
For instance, recall the 2009 draft which featured Andre Smith, Michael Johnson, and Chase Coffman. Now they’re still using many of those players, and they got good picks out of Rey Maualuga and Jonathan Luigs, but when you have 4 picks in the first three rounds and can only get 1 of them on the field, its a problem. And this isn’t exclusive to 2009, their history has draftniks expecting them to take Ryan Mallett simply because there are few teams that will over look the massive flags surrounding him.
So Palmer’s patience with an organization that promotes mediocrity has run out, who’s in the market for veteran signal caller.
Arizona’s again at the top of the list. Palmer would enjoy heading back west, the team is built for him to come in and take the lead, and they run an offense that isn’t quite as restrictive as the Bengals has been. It might take a few years for him to really grasp the system, but even still he’ll be a huge improvement over their present staff. The down side is that Arizona doesn’t appear to want a short term fix again. They ran the course with Warner and are looking to get younger. They’ll groom a team together and Carson may not be there when it all comes to its peak. Kolb is a younger target, but in greater demand.
Minnesota is a team more willing to look for a veteran of Kolb’s caliber. They need a leader on offense, and Palmer has had great leadership in the past. The Vikings need to rally around someone. Peterson cannot quite command the locker room and their defensive leaders seem to have some trouble building up the offense. Palmer’s got the credentials to garner respect and the play to back it up. Leslie Frazier, however, wants his guy, perhaps not necessarily another team’s scraps. Also Minnesota doesn’t have a whole lot of picks to invest in getting Palmer having lost one to an abysmal Randy Moss deal.
Washington, Miami, and San Francisco seem the most likely falling points for Palmer. The big names will be fighting over the Kolb sweepstakes, which should leave both McNabb and Palmer with less of a market, so long as Kolb is still available. If one of these teams moves quickly with a deal, they can get him at a bit less. All three have picks available as well. Miami could easily move down from the 1st to the 2nd (seeing how Ingram may have some injury concerns to drop him out of the first) and add another late pick to grab the signal caller. The Redskins seem to hate drafting and would prefer to buy some talent with their draft fun bucks. They’ve saved a lot of picks to work with and if given the chance Shanahan might find Palmer a good veteran. San Francisco looks like the best fit of the three. A players coach, almost complete team, and a west coast destination look like Palmer’s dream location.
The Redskins look like they’ll be rebuilding the whole team at this point and bringing in a veteran doesn’t fit with that plan – even if Daniel Snyder will throw a tantrum about winning immediately. Miami is a good fit because they’ll miss out on the top quarterbacks, and the 2nd tier players. Most likely, unless they trade up, they’ll be stuck out in the 3rd to 5th round looking for a replacement to Henne. Henne means they wont have to force the issue however, and they won’t have be so desperate about it. San Francisco may also be looking for a young quarterback to take their team back to the promised land. Alex Smith is only 27 and still shows flashes of brilliance. Jim reportedly loves what he sees in Smith and may not be to keen to try to bring in someone else at the expense of some draft picks… and he still may be working to get a hold of Luck next season.
San Francisco 9-1