Bengals draft Palmer's replacement, but he's no sure thing

  • By Vic Carucci NFL.com
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NEW YORK -- If it wasn't already clear that Carson Palmer has the Cincinnati Bengals over the proverbial barrel, it should be now.

Although Bengals owner Mike Brown has insisted he won't grant Palmer's wish to be traded, he clearly isn't assuming his franchise quarterback eventually will have a change of heart.

So the Bengals used their second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. They allowed Palmer to force their hand.

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The question is, did the Bengals panic in the process of trying to find a new franchise passer?

In the opinion of most talent evaluators and analysts, Dalton is a developmental player. He is considered a long-term project who might one day be ready to step into the starting role, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

Some analysts, such as NFL Network's Mike Mayock, liked Dalton better than Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. But the best that could be hoped for from most of the quarterbacks in the draft is to make an impact in a few years, at the earliest.

That isn't what the Bengals need. This is a team that, with Jordan Palmer (Carson's younger brother) and second-year pro Dan LeFevour, had no replacement answers at quarterback on the roster.

With the fourth overall pick, the Bengals snagged an extremely talented wide receiver in Georgia's A.J. Green, who would have been a higher-rated player than any available quarterback. But if Cincinnati was that determined to get Palmer's successor, would a quarterback who might be more ready to start sooner -- Blaine Gabbert, perhaps? -- have made more sense?

And if Palmer wasn't so strident in his position, promising to retire if he isn't traded, the Bengals could have addressed something other than quarterback with their second-round pick.

As it is, they're probably not finished addressing it. Look for them to seek a veteran at the position in free agency or via a trade, whenever those avenues are open again.

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