The Bengals are going to rebuild this offseason, the only question is how much.
Coach Marvin Lewis appears as good as gone. Terrell Owens and Cedric Benson are free agents and seem likely to leave. The team may not pick up the option on Chad Ochocinco’s contract.
Quarterback Carson Palmer is the most important piece to the puzzle. He’s under contract next year for $11.5 million and acknowledged earlier this week that “anything’s possible” regarding his future.
According to ESPN.com’s James Walker, Palmer is highly unlikely to take a paycut to stay. Walker writes that decision could be the first step in the Bengals and Palmer parting ways.
We’re not so sure about that.
It would have been very surprising if Palmer was amenable to reducing his deal in the first place. That doesn’t mean Palmer is going anywhere. Even if the team is rebuilding, would the Bengals really be willing to start from scratch at quarterback with no other options on the team? (Unless they think RunPee.com executive Jordan Palmer is ready.)
Palmer has had his struggles this year, but he’s still on pace for nearly 4,000 passing yards. He’s thrown 21 scores with 18 interceptions. Perhaps most importantly, he has great taste in websites.
“This is that time of year, and it’s better when it’s happening across the league, when you’re reading stuff on ProFootballTalk.com or different guys are saying different things or things are happening in certain locker rooms,” Palmer said earlier this week when asked about Terrell Owens’ latest remarks.
He’s right. The regular season is winding down, but the drama in the NFL is about to get cranked up.
Cincinnati will be at the center of a lot of it.