Something has to give, but who will give first?
Ultimately it will be the Bengals that will have to give in and trade Palmer or grant him his release since the former Heisman winner would rather retire than play for the Bengals again.
Here is a look at six teams who could give the Bengals the draft pick they are looking for (most likely a second-rounder) and who could give Palmer a fresh start.
There's that one guy—Charlie Whitehurst—still lingering around in Seattle too, and Kevin Kolb could be an option, but a more expensive and less proven one.
Palmer could reunite with his former USC coach, Pete Carroll, and he would give the Seahawks a chance to stay on top in the NFC West this season.
The Dolphins don't have the talent to win the AFC East as things stand now, and it will be tough for them to finish any better than third in their division.
However, they are a team that appears to be moving in the right direction in terms of young talent, and they could use a veteran presence at quarterback who could give them a better chance to put some victories on the board.
Chad Henne is not that quarterback, and if they stick with him this season, I think it will ultimately be his last with the team. Palmer could come in right away and get the ball to Brandon Marshall, as the Dolphins could use a boost on offense to go along with their solid defense.
The Cardinals have been the supposed team to beat when it comes to Kevin Kolb's services, but I believe they would be better served to go after Palmer.
Arizona believes they can win the NFC West with improved play at their quarterback position, and while that may not be that far off, trading for Kolb does not guarantee a division title.
Palmer would be a much cheaper option than Kolb, who will almost certainly command a first-round pick or cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. If the Cards were to trade for Palmer, they would likely be able to keep DRC and their first-round pick in their possession.
Palmer wasn't great last season, but he is good enough to give the Cards a shot at winning the NFC West, and that's why Arizona should think about making a move for the disgruntled signal-caller.
The Redskins may be prepared to enter the season with John Beck at quarterback, and while I would advise against that, the Skins are more than just a quarterback away from being a top-notch football team.
Beck could turn out to be a solid quarterback, but Palmer is a much more proven option who could get the Skins back to respectability this season.
Washington has finally gone away from big money players and looks to be building through the draft, especially on defense, where they now have a strong base with Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo.
Palmer could find better places to go than Washington, but it would be better than retirement, and he could potentially do enough to keep the Skins from one of the first couple of picks in next April's draft.
(Although, Skins fans would probably rather have the top pick; if you're going to lose, you might as well lose big in the NFL.)
The Vikings surprisingly took Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the draft in the hopes of making him the team's next franchise quarterback.
But why throw him into the fire right away if you don't have to?
Carson Palmer would allow Ponder to sit and learn for at least a year, and with a pretty talented roster already on hand, Palmer would also provide the Vikings with a shot at the playoffs.
Brett Favre couldn't get it done last season, but another veteran like Palmer could do the trick this year.
Carson Palmer is used to working with trouble-making receivers (although T.O. and Ochocinco couldn't hold a candle to Kenny Britt), so the Titans would be a great fit for the veteran quarterback.
Palmer could come in and teach rookie Jake Locker a thing or two about playing quarterback in the NFL, and also give Locker some time to continue developing his game.
The Titans do have some good talent on their roster, but they lacked a passing game to complement Chris Johnson's running ability the past few seasons (and no, dumping the ball off to your running back or tight end nearly all of the time doesn't count. Sorry, Vince Young fans).
Palmer has the leadership abilities to turn things around in Tennessee in a hurry, and it would make sense for both sides to make this move.