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Monday, January 24, 2011
Should Shanahan go after Palmer?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

The Washington Redskins may have another chance to land a high-profile veteran quarterback via trade this offseason now that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer is looking for the nearest exit. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that Palmer is planning to request a trade and will contemplate retirement if the Bengals are unwilling to grant his wish.

Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer, 31, might be a tough sell to the Redskins' fan base.
Although the Donovan McNabb trade turned out to be a flop, you have to wonder if Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle will be intrigued by the 31-year-old Palmer, who has seen his numbers decline the past few seasons because of knee and elbow injuries. Palmer emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the league with brilliant seasons in '05 and '06. He threw for 60 touchdowns and only 25 interceptions in those two seasons and seemed poised to be a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback.

The Bengals signed Palmer to a contract extension following the '05 season that goes through the 2014 season. Here's what Palmer said at the time:

"Hopefully this is the last place I'll end up playing," Palmer said. "That's so rare in this league these days. It's so rare to see a person have a 5-, 8-, 10-, 12-year career in one place. And I feel very fortunate that it looks like that's going to be my future."

But I'm sure a lot of players have said that early in their careers in Cincinnati. Palmer now wants a chance to revive his career in another locale, and I would expect for Mike Shanahan to take a long look at him. Shanahan has to decide whether he's willing to start over with a rookie quarterback (Cam Newton?) or try to take another shortcut, which didn't work out this past season.

I haven't watched enough Bengals football (thank goodness) to say how much Palmer has fallen over the past few seasons, but he nearly threw for 4,000 yards in 2010. Of course, he had more weapons at his disposal than Donovan McNabb had in Washington.

If the Bengals are open to a trade, I'm sure the Vikings, Seahawks and Cardinals would all be in the mix. Mortensen also pointed out that Palmer's wife is from San Francisco, so maybe the 49ers would have a home-field advantage. I think Shanahan will lean toward finding a quarterback in the draft.

The Redskins have already tried to sell their fan base on one aging quarterback. And that guy had actually won quite a few playoff games.