Monday Morning Mailbag Extra: More QB Questions

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 31, 2011 – 9:41 am

Below is a question and answer that was too long for inclusion in this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag. After you’re done reading this entry, be sure to head over to this week’s Mailbag feature to read more.

Carson Palmer has demanded a trade from the Bengals and has threatened retirement. Do you think the Vikings should pursue him? What do you think he’s worth?
Pete R.
East Brunswick, NJ

I won’t go as far as to say the Vikings should pursue Palmer, but I do think any team with a need at the QB position should at least look into the possibility of acquiring Palmer. It wasn’t that long ago when Palmer was considered an elite NFL passer, but since a serious knee injury in the 2005 playoffs, he hasn’t been the same player. I believe, though, that Palmer can be a top 10 NFL QB again if in the right situation.

In terms of the Bengals trading Palmer, I don’t think it’s a sure thing and that’s largely because the Bengals have gone on record as saying they do not intend to trade him. Keep in mind that the Washington Redskins were reportedly willing to part with two 1st-round picks for WR Chad Ochocinco, but the Bengals refused to deal. That would have been a steal for the Bengals. That leads me to believe that if the Bengals say they aren’t going to trade Palmer, they mean it.

As for what he’s actually worth, that’s ultimately up to the Bengals to decide. They’ll set the market based on what they’ll need to receive as compensation in order to send him away. Independent of the value the Bengals place on Palmer, though, let’s take a look at a few other recent QB trades:
— In March of 2010, the Seattle Seahawks acquired Charlie Whitehurst from the San Diego Chargers in exchange of: swapped 2010 2nd-round picks and a 3rd-round pick in 2011.
— In April of 2010, the Washington Redskins acquired Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange of: a 2010 2nd-round pick and a 2011 3rd- or 4th-round pick.
— In March of 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs acquired Matt Cassel (and LB Mike Vrabel) from the New England Patriots in exchange of: a 2010 2nd-round pick.
— In April of 2009, the Chicago Bears acquired Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos in exchange of: Kyle Orton, 1st-round picks in 2009 and 2010 and a 3rd-round pick in 2009.
— In March of 2007, the Houston Texans acquired Matt Schaub from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange of: swapped 2007 1st-round picks and 2nd-round picks in 2007 and 2008.

Of those 5 QBs, I would compare Palmer’s value with McNabb’s the most. McNabb is older than Palmer, but he’s also more accomplished. Palmer has a higher passer rating and a higher completion percentage, but McNabb throws fewer INTs and more TDs per attempt; they’re just about even in yards per attempt (Palmer is 1 yard better than McNabb). Let’s also look at each player’s year prior to trade (assuming Palmer is traded this offseason):
— McNabb had a 22-10 TD/INT ratio, had the 3rd-highest single-season passer rating of his career (92.9) and guided his team to an 11-5 record and division title.
— Palmer, on the other hand, had a 26-20 TD/INT ratio, registered a pedestrian 82.4 passer rating and played for a team that went 4-12 and finished last in the AFC North.

So what is Palmer’s value? I’m not sure exactly, and we’ll only find out if the Bengals enter into trade talks with other teams. What do you think? Let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry.

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