Should the Redskins Consider Trading for Carson Palmer?

According to several reports out of Cincinnati, Carson Palmer’s marriage with the Bengals is now loveless enough that he’s asked for a divorce.

A former Heisman trophy winner who once guided Cincinnati to an 11-5 record and a division championship, there’s going to be several suitors for Palmer. (Seattle’s head coach mentored Palmer at USC and the quarterback’s wife is from San Francisco, so count both of those two teams in on the sweepstakes).

But should the Redskins kick the tires on a Palmer trade?

I, for one, say no. They tried the ‘trading draft picks for a quarterback over 30 who looks to have already played his best football’ thing last year. It didn’t work.

But because Washington doesn’t have an answer at quarterback next season, you would be naïve to think the Redskins wouldn’t at least do their homework on Palmer.

These are the types of moves the Redskins make. Last year is all the proof you need. There’s no reason to believe that Washington wouldnt at least have interest in finding out what it would take to land the 31 year-old.

If I’m in the Redskins’ front office, here are three questions I’d need answered right away:

How good is Palmer right now?

He’s been intercepted 20 times in two of the past four years. He hasn’t thrown for 4,000 yards since 2007. He averaged just 6.8 yards-per-completion in 2010 (good for 21st in the NFL). His 2010 QB rating was 82. Same rating as Alex Smith and Kerry Collins, lower than Jason Campbell.

How much quality football does he have left?

He’ll be 31 until end of next season and he’s only played seven seasons. That said, he’s suffered two major injuries (to his knee during the 2005 playoffs and to his elbow when he missed the final 12 games in 2008).

He’s played in every game the past two seasons but he also hasn’t taken many shots. Palmer was last sacked more than 26 times back in 2006. That would happen in DC next season.

What type of compensation are the Bengals looking for?

Do the Bengals want the same caliber of picks the Redskins sent the Eagles for McNabb (2nd and 4th round selections)?

Does Cincinnati still view him as a top-10 passer? His numbers are closer to Jason Campbell’s than they are Peyton Manning’s the past couple years. But surely they’d want more for Palmer than Washington got for Campbell (a fourth rounder two drafts from now).

Here’s one last question for Redskins fans to ponder: Is Palmer considerably better than McNabb right now?

If he’s not, it would seem odd to trade for him a season after you benched McNabb twice. (There 2010 stats after 13 games are below. I subtracted Palmer’s numbers from Weeks 14-17 because these are the stats McNabb had posted when he lost his job for good).

McNabb: 58% 3,377 14 15
Palmer: 60% 3,187 21 18

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