The Cincinnati Bengals hold the fourth pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL draft and they are unsure if their franchise quarterback, Carson Palmer, plans to come back and play again for the team that has stood by him since they made him the first selection in the 2003 NFL draft.
The Bengals started the 2010 NFL season hoping to improve on a 10-6 season that saw them win the AFC North title and make a clean sweep of their divisional rivals for the first time in team history.
Things didn’t go as planned.
Despite the addition of Terrell Owens, the Bengals finished with a 4-12 record as the offense sputtered in large part due to a 27th-ranked running game.
Bengals owner Mike Brown has reiterated that he still has no desire to deal Palmer, who asked back in January to be traded.
“That part of it is still the same,” Brown told The Cincinnati Enquirer at the NFL Annual Meeting in New Orleans. “I didn’t say anything inconsistent with that. I want him back, and I will just leave it at that. I haven’t talked to any other team about him, and I have no plans to trade him.”
In recent days, news has surfaced of a possible trade between the Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks involving Palmer.
ESPN analyst John Clayton doesn’t believe it would ever happen and has a strong belief that Palmer is not going anywhere.
Palmer’s indecision and confusion has left the Bengals in an interesting place during the 2011 NFL draft.
Cincinnati has an option to possibly draft either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert but the question still remains of whether Palmer is still the quarterback the Bengals faithful have followed for years or is this his desperate attempt to get the organization to realize that they need more help to win.
Is this his version of Kobe Bryant’s cry for the Lakers to add talent?
The Bengals front office could make a bold move to ensure that Carson Palmer comes back to them.
With the fourth selection in the 2011 NFL draft the Cincinnati Bengals could select Georgia WR A.J. Green.
A.J. Green missed seven games the past two seasons due to injury or suspension but still leaves the University of Georgia after his junior season second in school history with 23 touchdowns and 2,542 receiving yards.
Green is a rare combination of size and speed that has some sources comparing him to Randy Moss and Keyshawn Johnson.
The thought process is that if the Bengals bring in a talented wide out like Green, Palmer would have to come back and play.
With the history of rookie wide receivers not performing up to their potential, the question becomes would he initially be any better than Chad Johnson or Owens?
Regardless of whom the Bengals select with the fourth pick, Palmer has put them in a difficult position and for a team that has stood by him during injury and inconsistent play that shouldn’t sit well with fans.