The NFL lockout could be over within the next 10 days, and the Washington Redskins still have no answer to their quarterback situation. The rumored free agency schedule for the post-lockout world doesn't leave the Redskins much time to find a franchise quarterback, and unless Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen have their eyes fixated on Matt Moore or Alex Smith, there aren't really any other options. Because despite what Dan Snyder would like you to believe, the Redskins don't actually have any intention of keeping Donovan McNabb.
Fortunately for the Redskins, they aren't the only team in the NFL with a strange and unresolved quarterback situation. Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals desperately wants out of Ohio. He's threatened Cincinnati owner Mike Brown that he'll retire if the Bengals don't cut or trade him. He says he's never playing for the Bengals again, and teammate Chad Ochocinco believes him.
The only other quarterback on the Bengals' roster with any professional experience is Carson's brother Jordan Palmer, who plays football as a hobby in his spare time away from his true passion of designing bathroom-related mobile phone applications. Do you really think that the Bengals would enter the season with Jordan Palmer as their starting quarterback? Or maybe they'll turn to rookie second round draft pick Andy Dalton? No. They need to make a move.
Well I've got one in mind. Donovan McNabb for Carson Palmer. Straight up.
Palmer had 26 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 82.4 in 2010. It wasn't his best year, but it was a whole lot better than McNabb's numbers. It would be a shame to see Palmer retire when he's clearly got a whole lot left to give at age 31. He should be giving it for a team other than the Bengals next year. He should be giving it in Washington.
The Redskins have done everything in their power to diminish McNabb's trade value the past 12 months. They won't be getting a second and third round draft pick back from anybody. The best they could hope to gain in a trade from McNabb would be maybe a single third round pick. Or a franchise quarterback.
Most Redskins fans are already convinced that neither John Beck nor Rex Grossman will be much of a long-term solution at quarterback. We all want a franchise quarterback. We all think the team needs one in order to be successful. Beck and Grossman aren't that quarterback.
Palmer might not be either, but at least he's been one before. At least he gives the team a chance at some decent results in 2011. Just because acquiring a veteran quarterback to play in Kyle Shanahan's system didn't work out well last year doesn't mean it won't work out better with Palmer. Maybe he'll be a fast learner. Maybe he'll be a better fit. Maybe he'll be willing to wear a wristband.
Or maybe not. If Palmer turns out to be a failure in Washington this season, the Redskins would be no worse off than they are now. They'll have a veteran quarterback that they don't want and that doesn't fit the system, and they'll still be looking to draft a quarterback in 2012.
The risks are minimal. This is a trade that could benefit both teams. Palmer may not be the long-term solution for the Redskins, but at the very least, he could help bridge the gap from the past to the future while they complete their rebuild. He could be just the leader on offense that this young team needs. He could be the leader that McNabb wasn't.