Carson Palmer: Did the QB Save His Job in Bengals Victory Over Chargers?
In the past few weeks, there has been rampant speculation pertaining to the future Carson Palmer, as the one-time "golden boy" has fallen on hard times.
New evidence presented itself Sunday as it relates to that discussion, but for once, the pendulum swung in his favor.
Playing with young, eager receivers, Palmer had a 157.2 quarterback rating, as his 16-of-21 passing, four touchdowns and no interceptions contributed to that astounding figure.
In this piece are reasons why the Bengals would be wise to keep Palmer.
He Still Has Talent
Carson Palmer hasn't forgotten how to play the quarterback position, contrary to popular opinion.
Some detractors may dismiss the performance against San Diego. True, the game meant nothing to the Bengals, but San Diego, which normally is stout defensively, was in desperation mode.
Plus, both of his starting wide receivers were out for this game.
In other words, this wasn't the 2008 Detroit Lions they were facing. If it had been, then I would be more skeptical.
Additionally, he's still fairly young (31) and in my estimation should be given a fair shot to work with some young talent that the Bengals appear to be stockpiling at the wide receiver and tight end positions.
Grooming a New Quarterback Is Difficult
It's easy to say, "Oh, let's go out there and draft a new quarterback," but in this industry, signal callers are hard to come by.
Just ask the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos, among others.
The demands of the position are excruciating, and college success oftentimes does not translate to the pro level.
Plus, I just don't trust this organization to develop anyone, as the thought of offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski mentoring a rookie quarterback isn't very comforting.
On a team that will be shedding older veterans this offseason, I feel more confident having an experienced quarterback lining up behind center.
Carson Palmer is owed $11.5 million next year, and for an organization that has never been known for going above and beyond financially, it will be difficult to a) get him to take a pay cut or b) pay him his full salary, plus a rookie quarterback.
This organization has invested a lot of time and dollars into Palmer, and when you combine that with the loyalty of Mike Brown, all signs point to him remaining in town.
Terrell Owens will not be coming back, and there's a fair chance Chad Ochocinco won't be either, as well as Cedric Benson.
Not to mention Marvin Lewis may be coaching his final game on Sunday in Baltimore.
In other words, Palmer represents a face of the organization, and when you break down the reasons why the team has had a terrible year, I can think of several other things that would come before the play of Palmer.
(Though he has singlehandedly cost the Bengals a few games this year.)
I mentioned the reasons why I think Palmer saved his job and probably will/should remain a Cincinnati Bengal, but there are a few questions to ponder.
Does he even want to stay? I couldn't blame him for wanting to blow this popsicle stand and return home to California.
In addition to that, which is clearly the most important question, we shouldn't forget about the numerous mistakes he has made this year, some of which fall squarely on his shoulder, though problems like Benson fumbling aren't his fault.
Also, I want to see him work with Jerome Simpson, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley among others. I would like a full year of that, with no strong-willed egos involved.
We got a small sample of that, and I want to see more.