The Cincinnati Bengals franchise has been in limbo since Carson Palmer threatened to retire rather than play for the team next season.
The Bengals have been persistent with their statements that they have no interest in trading Palmer and that he will be a member of Cincinnati's roster heading into next season. The following slideshow explains why the Bengals will eventually cave in and trade Palmer despite all of the franchise's persistence and optimism.
Palmer is currently signed by Cincinnati through the 2014 season and is due to make over $11 million in base salary throughout the 2011 season.
The Bengals are taking a big risk by keeping Palmer on the active roster especially through the summer months because of the financial implications he could have on the franchise. $11 million is quite a bit of money to pay a disgruntled player and the Bengals have already exhausted the option of possibly asking Palmer to take a pay cut in December of last year.
Palmer's deal that he signed in 2005 will collectively pay him over $50 million for his time with the Bengals and includes many incentives if he happens to return for his final seasons.
The Bengals reportedly toyed with the idea of possibly asking Palmer to take a pay cut last season but Palmer was quick to shoot the idea down. The Bengals are in slight rebuilding mode after a poor season and need players that are willing to work with the franchise in order to build for the future.
Division rivals, the Cleveland Browns, are in a similar situation with Jake Delhomme. Delhomme entered the 2010 season as the starter but quickly fell down the depth chart due to injury. Delhomme will likely be asked to take a pay cut this summer and serve as the team's third-string quarterback.
The NFL draft could likely give some sort of glimpse into the future for Carson Palmer as the Bengals will have an opportunity to take a quality quarterback at some point throughout the first or second rounds.
Many mock drafts still have Blaine Gabbert available for Cincinnati at number four and even if he has already been selected, Ryan Mallet and Jake Locker should be around in the second round.
According to the most recent mock draft on Walter Football, the Bengals will also take a look at Christian Ponder. Ponder passed for over 6,000 yards and 49 touchdowns as a four-year player for the Florida State Seminoles and won the 2011 Senior Bowl MVP Award.
The Cincinnati Bengals simply do not have enough draft picks in order to fill all of the holes created if both Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco left town. That is why they will eventually have to decide which player will benefit the franchise in both the short and long term.
Even though Ochocinco's numbers were not up to his career standard last season, the addition and resurgence of Terrell Owens created limited opportunities as well as the production of an overall inconsistent offense both played a significant role.
Ochocinco caught 67 passes last season for 831 yards and four touchdowns.
Palmer may have had his best receiving corps in his career available to him in 2010 but he failed to deliver a solid season and winning record.
Palmer tied a career-high with 20 interceptions (2007) and threw a 120 more passes than in the 2009 season. In fact, Palmer has not had a quarterback rating over 100 since the 2005 season in which he threw for 32 touchdowns and 3,800 yards.
Since the 2006 season, Palmer has recorded 76 touchdowns opposed to 57 interceptions but never achieved a season rating higher than 86.