So why did the Bengals re-sign quarterback Jordan Palmer at a time when the organization refuses to trade or release his older brother, Carson?
According to Dennis Janson of WCPO (via CincyJungle.com), Carson Palmer has told a “friend” that he believes the team is “toying” with Jordan by giving him reduced reps and by eventually cutting him too late to land with a new team.
The Bengals currently have four quarterbacks on the active roster: Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Dan LeFevour, and Jordan Palmer. Jordan re-signed with the team in July, accepting his restricted free agency tender. The contract isn’t guaranteed, and he can be cut at any time.
Carson was placed on the reserve/did not report list after he failed to show up for training camp. He has not yet been placed, as far as we can tell, on the reserve/retired list. His agent, David Dunn, has not responded to multiple inquiries over the past three weeks regarding the question of whether Palmer has made his retirement official with the league office.
During the lockout, Jordan Palmer led player-organized workouts. “I’m going to prepare like I’m the starter until somebody tells me I’m not,” Jordan said in April, before the Bengals picked Andy Dalton in round two. “If you’re the backup and the starter gets hurt or is traded or retires, you’re next in line. That’s the natural progression.”
Though Jordan Palmer is far from being the starter, he’s currently not on the bottom rung of the four-step ladder. Listed at third on the depth chart ahead of LeFevour, Jordan Palmer got into the preseason opener against the Lions before LeFevour.
The bad news? Jordan threw four passes, completing one to the Bengal — and one to a Lion.
To the extent that Bengals owner Mike Brown has decided to put Carson in a corner, it makes sense for Cincy to keep Jordan as the third quarterback. If, at some point, Carson would try to pull a power play and show up, the first quarterback to lose his job would be Carson’s little brother.