Bengals Will Approach 2011 NFL Draft As If Carson Palmer Will Not Be Around

By Dan Parzych

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer has been one of the hottest topics this offseason after he threatened to retire if the organization failed to meet his requests for a trade. On Friday, head coach Marvin Lewis addressed how the team will approach April’s draft as if Palmer follows through with his threat of retirement–meaning they could end up selecting a quarterback with the No. 4 pick.

Both Auburn’s Cam Newton and Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert are expected to be top-10 picks in this year’s draft and could even turn out to be franchise quarterbacks for the teams they end up on. While scouts have praised Gabbert from the start, Newton is beginning to catch the eye of his doubters after impressive workouts prior to this weekend’s Combine in Indy and many are even considering the possibility of the Auburn standout to go No. 1 in April.

As for Palmer, he’s received heavy criticism over the last few seasons–especially after 2010. The additions of Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley, and Jermaine Gresham were supposed to help Palmer return to the elite level as a quarterback–but that clearly was not the case. Palmer may want a trade, but that could be difficult considering not many teams would take the ridiculous $50 million he’s due over the next four seasons.

Bengals owner Mike Brown has already indicated he has no intention of trading Palmer–which means he will either have to man up and stay in Cincinnati or live up to his threat by calling it a career. Whatever Palmer ends up doing, at least Lewis and the Bengals are taking the right approach by considering some of the talented quarterbacks from this year’s class just in case.

Dan Parzych is the Lead NFL Content Editor for,  where he writes and edits NFL content for

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