Usually, teams that are in the midst of a 2-9 season are contemplating wholesale changes.
If you think that will also be the case in Cincinnati this offseason, well then, you must not know the managerial "style" of Mike Brown too well.
As demonstrated by the unusually long tenures of head coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, Brown is a man who tends to hang onto guys for a bit longer than he should and it may not be any different with Carson Palmer.
With his salary next year (11.5 million dollars) and a contract that runs through 2014, the Bengals have a few different things to think about here.
One option, though unlikely, is that he would take a pay cu, and the team, with its probable high draft position, could groom (and pay) a future quarterback.
Ultimately, the Bengals will have to pick one direction and go with it, as Brown won't pay Palmer's high salary, plus a rookie top draft pick salary.
It sounds really great in theory to draft a quarterback and have him be the savior of a team, but it's oftentimes not the way it really goes.
The Bengals may ultimately determine that it's the pieces around Palmer and not the man himself, that needs to be replaced.
After all, he's just 30 years old and playing a position where men routinely succeed through their mid 30s, so he's hardly "washed up."
Also, with that awful offensive line, the play-calling and the the diva wide receivers, it's unlikely many quarterbacks could succeed.
However, it can be argued that maybe he needs a change of scenery to get back to what he once was, as the psychological baggage from the fateful loss against the Steelers in the 2005 playoffs still hangs over this franchise.
Also, even the biggest Palmer apologists can't explain away the 15 interceptions this year and the one against the Jets on Thanksgiving was perhaps one of the worst throws of his entire career.
So, there you have it, some arguments for and against Palmer going forward, but the man in charge of the whole operation sees a full stadium every Sunday (though that may not be the case going forward) with a lot of number 9 jerseys in the crowd, so that may be good enough for him.
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