49ers and Carson Palmer: A Potential Fit?

News hit Twitter (where it always breaks first) today that Carson Palmer reportedly wants out of Cincinnati and has requested to be traded by the Bengals.  According to Chris Mortensen, Palmer is prepared to retire if necessary rather than continue playing in Cincinnati.

With the 49ers having David Carr on the roster as the only quarterback under contract, it would stand to reason that the team might seek the services of a veteran guy in addition to drafting the future of the position.  Additionally, the weak draft class coupled with the 49ers having the #7 pick could discourage them from selecting a player that high...instead perhaps taking a player later in the draft to develop over the course of the 2011 season.

Palmer was considered an elite QB in the NFL as recently as as few years ago, especially when he had TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ochocinco playing at a high level.  During the 2005 & 2006 seasons Palmer threw for nearly 8,000 yards and 60 touchdowns.

The past two seasons following an injury Palmer sustained in 2008 have seen him play gradually worse than most remember.  2010 was certainly not kind to Palmer as he finished with 20 interceptions and a QB rating of 82.4 despite throwing for nearly 4,000 yards. 

Still, I for one don't think that Palmer suddenly became a bad quarterback, and he should certainly be an upgrade over Alex Smith or David Carr.  The Bengals have been coming unraveled of late and I wonder if the overall situation there has affected his play.

Can you believe that there isn't even an indoor practice facility in Cincinnati for the team to use in the colder months?  Anyone who knows about the weather in Cincy (or can use Google) knows that it can be brutal near the end of the year.  Granted, I'm not making excuses so much as wondering aloud if there are valid reasons for Palmer's declining numbers.

At any rate, no trades can be made absent a new CBA being signed, and most don't expect that to happen before the draft.  This likely means the team will have to pursue an early QB, be it a first or second rounder, in order to play it safe in case they are not able to obtain the services of a capable veteran.  It will certainly be interesting to see what becomes of Palmer if he's made available once there is a new CBA in place.

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