Update: 10:35 p.m.
MOBILE, Ala. - With the aftershocks reverberating from
When Boomer Esiason secretly slipped into Mike Brown's office to ask for a trade after coach Sam Wyche left following a 3-13 season in 1991, Brown responded by drafting Houston quarterback David Klingler in 1992 and trading Esiason to his hometown New York Jets for a third-round pick after the '92 season.
There were niceties Monday, so maybe that could be in play here.
But the question remains. What exactly happened to Palmer and the Bengals when it all seemed so right after his first 42 starts and a 25-17 record and 74 TD passes and 41 picks and people were naming their kids after him and they were a win away from two straight playoff berths in December 2006? The Bengals didn't get it and in his next 56 starts they went 21-35 with just 74 TDs and 59 picks.
The last three seasons lurched between injury (an elbow problem that cost Palmer 12 games), a run-oriented offense that couldn't go deep and the 2010 disaster that tried to go deep and either forgot about the run or couldn't do it as veterans
The frustration finally boiled.
If the Bengals go the Boomer route, are there any franchise quarterbacks out there?
Missouri's Blaine Gabbert could be gone by No. 4 and Washington's Jake Locker (yes, represented by Palmer agent David Dunn) is trying to grind into the top 10. No. 4 would seem to be too high, as it is for first-rounders Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett.
Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, along with Iowa's Ricky Stansi, is also working for the North and while Stansi is a late-round guy, the 6-5 Kaepernick is interesting. As a former pitcher drafted by the Cubs, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis liked his "fastball," even if it wasn't always for strikes Monday, and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said "he has good athletic ability and a real good arm as well. He flings it out there pretty good."
"Accuracy is the most important thing in the NFL," Lewis said. "He keeps growing and maturing as a young man and his body is going to catch up. He's lean and lanky."
One scout wondered after Monday's workout if Locker has a first-round arm, but Lewis says, "I can tell he's going to be an NFL quarterback for a long time because of his personality and how he handles himself."
MORE OCHO: Palmer may want to be traded, but wide receiver
"Belichick is smarter than that," Lewis said, and when Rapoport told him that Belichick picked up Randy Moss in 2007, Lewis asked "And what did he do this year?"
According to ESPN.com, The Ocho and Terrell Owens weighed in on Palmer's demand during the taping of "The T.Ocho Show" that airs Tuesday night on Versus and said Palmer was unhappy with Lewis and the front office.
"If he's asking for a trade, he obviously wasn't comfortable with the rehiring of Marvin Lewis," Owens said. "He's been very stealth and discreet with his message, but he's saying there's a problem without saying there's a problem."
"At this point, I think he's frustrated with management and the head coach, management not embracing him ... a bunch of stuff," said Ochocinco.
COLD CASE: Bengals running back
"He gives me advice here and there. Just play my game and do what I do," Gates said Monday.
Which is run. The 6-0, 189-pound Gates has been clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash and is coming off a big year he helped ACU go 11-0 with 66 catches for 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns. Gates is Abilene Christian's second all-time receiver in with 2,885 yards and is tied for first with 27 touchdown catches. Great, but not quite what Scott did to win the Division II Heisman. Gates already has a bet ("No money on it") with Scott and former ACU receiver Johnny Knox on who gets picked higher. In '09, Scott went in the sixth round and Knox in the fifth.
"I think I'm getting up there," said Gates, projected by NFLDraftScout.com before his big year to go in the seventh round or sign as a free agent.
But if the Bengals grab him, he'll have to learn to play in the elements. In his one Paul Brown Stadium game last month, he didn't stay all the way to watch Scott help finish the Browns with five yards per pop on eight carries.
"Too cold," he said. "I left."