Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Bailout Plan For Bengals, Palmer?

The battle lines are drawn. On one side there is a quarterback who doesn’t appear to be interested in playing for the Bengals, and on the other side is an owner who doesn’t appear to be interested in moving forward. This will do the Bengals no good in building a competitive team for 2011 and beyond.

Former Bengals player Solomon Wilcots has a plan that will do the unthinkable. It will make Carson Palmer a happy quarterback and Mike Brown a celebrated owner (at least for a week). But Brown and the Bengals need to act quickly.

Wilcots is now an analyst for NFL games on CBS and also hosts a show on Sirius NFL Radio. On his show Thursday, Wilcots laid out the following plan: The Bengals take their fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft and send it to the Philadelphia Eagles for their pick at 23 in the first round plus quarterback Kevin Kolb and the Eagles. At the same time trade Palmer to the Seattle Seahawks for their pick at 25 in the first round. Presto! The Bengals get a starting quarterback in Kolb and have two first round picks.

I would even settle for a second round pick from the Eagles. It all makes too much sense. “They (Eagles) will not turn down the fourth overall pick in the draft,” said Wilcots. “And the Bengals will not find a player at the quarterback position better than Kevin Kolb in this draft.”

The Eagles were set to make Kolb their franchise quarterback as he entered his fourth season in 2010. But the gunslinger from the University of Houston suffered an injury early in the season. That opened the door for Michael Vick, and the way Vick lit up opposing defenses left the Eagles no choice but to try and find a new home for Kolb.

Wilcots has talked with coaches for the Eagles about Kolb. “They love him. They just love Mike Vick more," he said.

Wilcots agrees with the Eagles enthusiasm for Kolb and thinks he is a perfect quarterback to lead the Bengals into the future.

The second part of the equation makes as much sense as trading for Kolb. Trading Palmer to Seattle would reunite him with Head Coach Pete Carroll. Carroll was Palmer’s coach at the University of Southern California when Palmer won the Heisman Trophy. Palmer often expresses affection for his old coach, so it might be too good to be true.

But the Bengals need to act before the stalemate begins and the Bengals appear to be backed into a corner.

“You should be proactive before the value falls,” said Wilcots.

Proactive and Bengals have not appeared in the same sentence for a long time. But the time has come and the Bengals need to strike before the real battle begins.

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