For the first time in more than eight years, there's no Palmer at quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Backup Jordan Palmer was waived Saturday, giving older brother Carson even more reason to stay away from the forlorn franchise. Jordan Palmer was the No. 2 quarterback last season behind his brother, who asked for a trade after a 4-12 finish.
Carson Palmer has told the team he'd rather retire than play another season in Cincinnati. So far, the Bengals have refused, forcing him to hang up his cleats rather than play for someone else.
The Bengals signed Jordan Palmer to another contract before the start of training camp, and he hoped to have a chance to compete for the starting job. But it quickly became clear that the team had other plans.
Bengals owner Mike Brown said rookie Andy Dalton, a second-round draft pick out of TCU, would start at quarterback, and the team also signed veteran Bruce Gradkowski. Those two took most of the snaps during training camp and preseason games, leaving Jordan Palmer out of the picture.
So it wasn't a complete surprise that he was let go Saturday.
"Based on coming off the offseason and coming into camp, yeah, I'm surprised," Palmer said in a telephone interview from his Cincinnati home. "As I started to see this unfolding in terms of the opportunity I was given, I'm not as surprised now."
Neither were his teammates, who saw Palmer receive few chances to run the offense during practice.
"Everybody has a time when they're done with a team and the team's kind of moving on," Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "I think he's moving on from us, and they're moving on from him. He did a great job of the things he had to do."
The Bengals signed Jordan Palmer as their No. 3 quarterback before the 2008 season, one year after the Washington Redskins drafted him in the sixth round out of UTEP. He appeared in three games in 2008, throwing 12 passes. He was promoted to No. 2 quarterback last season, when he played in one game and threw the ball three times.
He moved into his brother's locker after the Bengals broke training camp in Georgetown, Ky., earlier this month and returned to Paul Brown Stadium. His gear was still there after practice Saturday.
The move by the Bengals came more than one week after Carson Palmer reportedly accused the team of spiting Jordan. Dennis Janson of WCPO-TV tweeted on Aug. 19: "Carson Palmer tells friend, #Bengals are toying with brother Jordan. Few reps etc. Expects him to be cut but too late to sign elsewhere."
After Carson Palmer said he wasn't coming back, Jordan Palmer took over the Bengals' offense during the NFL's 4½-month lockout. He had receivers out to his home in California for workouts, and he helped organize full-team practices in Cincinnati. He also helped the offense learn new coordinator Jay Gruden's playbook and tutored Dalton on the fine points of playing quarterback in the NFL.
"Once I got drafted here, he set up some of the workouts and things like that, so my first introduction to the team was through him," Dalton said after practice Saturday. "He's helped me out. He's been around for a while. I hate to see him go."
In three preseason games, Jordan Palmer threw just four passes -- fewest among the four quarterbacks in camp. Dan LeFevour, Cincinnati's No. 3 quarterback last season, had more throws than Palmer.
Gradkowski had the advantage of playing for Gruden with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he struggled while playing with mostly reserves in the three preseason games. He completed 57 percent of his passes with one interception, no touchdowns and a 56.8 rating.
Carson Palmer was the Bengals' first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, coach Marvin Lewis' first season in Cincinnati. He sat and watched Jon Kitna run the offense for one season, then took the team to its only two playoff appearances in the last 20 years.
After the Bengals finished 4-12 last season and Lewis agreed to stay as coach even though Brown said nothing would change, Carson Palmer approached the front office about a trade. Brown repeatedly has insisted that he won't trade Palmer because he has four years and $53 million left on his contract.
Notes: The Bengals excused RB Cedric Benson from practice because he's scheduled to go on trial Monday in Austin, Texas, on misdemeanor assault charges from a 2010 altercation outside a bar. Benson faces up to a year in jail if convicted. ... Lewis said CB Adam "Pacman" Jones isn't expected to fully practice with the team next week. Jones is recovering from neck surgery and hasn't been allowed to participate in contact drills. ... The team also released CBs Fred Bennett and LeRoy Vann, FS Tom Nelson, LB Stephen Franklin and WR Jamere Holland on Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.