With Green aboard, Palmer should come back

Doug Farrar
Yahoo Sports

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Editor's note: Yahoo! Sports will break down how 12 top 2011 NFL draft picks can immediately impact their new clubs.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer(notes) drew a line in the sand after the 2010 season, asking for a trade and insisting that he would rather retire than play another down for his current team. This despite signing a six-year, $118.5 million contract extension in December of 2005 that was supposed to take him through the 2014 season. It's easy to understand Palmer's frustration with a front office that runs hot and cold, but the man himself hasn't been what he was in recent years, as injuries have taken their toll.

That said, two things may force Palmer to reconsider his stance. First, there's the fact that the Bengals selected Georgia's A.J. Green(notes), the best receiver in the 2011 NFL draft class, with the fourth overall pick. Second, there's the 34-20 win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 16 last season, when Palmer enjoyed a near-perfect performance (16 of 21 for 269 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions) despite – or quite possibly because of – the absences of Chad Ochocinco(notes) and Terrell Owens(notes).

Their Spartan scouting department aside, the Bengals have picked up a few young receivers with a great deal of potential over the last few years. Wide receiver Jordan Shipley(notes) and tight end Jermaine Gresham(notes), 2010 Bengals draft picks, take care of the possession game, and Jerome Simpson(notes) covers the speedster detail. What the Bengals need going forward, especially with T.O. and Ocho most likely out of the picture, is that elite receiver to take the opponent's No. 1 corner and speed safety out of the picture – often, at the same time. And with his aerial ability and vertical speed, that's what Green brings to the field.

View photo

.
Play diagram

Three of the touchdowns in that San Diego game went for 10 yards or less, and on the one to Gresham, Palmer had to fit the ball in through several San Diego defenders to make the play. But in Georgia's red zone situations, Green displayed a ridiculous sense of where to be, when to jump, and when to turn on the jets. These characteristics may have been best displayed in a sideline route in the end zone, where Green made a cartoonish one-handed catch for a touchdown with three defenders closing in during an October loss to Colorado.

On the play, Green stepped inside to fake, and then ran a fade (timing) route in which the press cornerback not only matched him step-for-step, but did a good job of gaining inside position on the play. In other words, a receiver with less ability to get in the air and make a play would have been boxed out. Not Green, however. In the end zone, he hit the air, put his arm up as high as possible to bring in a fade thrown too high for most, and somehow brought the ball in with one hand. Green then had the presence of mind to make sure he held onto the ball and came down in bounds.

It was a remarkable play for any receiver, but the truly remarkable thing about it for Green is that he's made plays like that before. When you take that sort of unusual ability to stretch the play from a vertical perspective, you create a target that is nearly impossible to cover, and that's why Green has been getting some Randy Moss(notes) comparisons. Adding that to what the Bengals already have makes a complete offense possible.

The Bengals selected TCU quarterback Andy Dalton(notes) in the second round as a future/emergency move, and head coach Marvin Lewis is saying all the right things about Dalton being ready to start in the NFL right away. However, Dalton's tape tells a different story. The best move for all involved in Cincinnati is for Palmer to come off the mountain, make amends, and enjoy throwing to what should be one of the best young receiver corps in the league.

Doug Farrar is a writer for Yahoo's Shutdown Corner blog and a senior writer for Football Outsiders.

  • Pau Gasol: 'There'd have to be significant changes' for me to return to Lakers in free agency

    Pau Gasol: 'There'd have to be significant changes' for me to return to Lakers in free agency

    In a post on his personal website, the Spaniard discusses the chances that his time with the Los Angeles Lakers has reached its end. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 5 minutes ago
  • Henderson Denies Haslem

    Henderson Denies Haslem

    Gerald Henderson comes from across the lane for the big block on Udonis Haslem at the rim. … More »

    NBA.com - 17 minutes ago
  • McRoberts to Henderson

    McRoberts to Henderson

    Josh McRoberts skips the three-pointer and hits Gerald Henderson with a lob for the alley-oop jam. … More »

    NBA.com - 21 minutes ago
  • Yanks pitcher Pineda ejected for substance on neck

    Yanks pitcher Pineda ejected for substance on neck

    New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning Wednesday night after umpires found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda's ejection occurred 13 days after the right-hander had brown … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Sanchez's slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

    Sanchez's slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

    Hector Sanchez hit two of San Francisco's six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning Wednesday that gave the Giants a wild 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies. With the Giants on the verge of being swept in a three-game series at … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after umpire finds substance on neck

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after umpire finds substance on neck

    BOSTON - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning Wednesday night after umpires found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda's ejection occurred 13 days after the right-hander … More »

    The Canadian Press - 28 minutes ago
  • After 500th HR, Pujols hears from Big Papi, Jeter

    After 500th HR, Pujols hears from Big Papi, Jeter

    In the hours after Albert Pujols hit his 500th career homer, his cellphone kept buzzing early into Wednesday morning. There were texts and calls from the likes of fellow players David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. And there was a conversation with his … More »

    AP - Sports - 28 minutes ago
  • Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

    Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

    As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4. It's the third straight season the Packers have traveled to face the defending Super Bowl champions. ''It's a … More »

    AP - Sports - 30 minutes ago
  • Stephen Curry: Warriors aren't 'going to lie down' against Clippers

    Stephen Curry: Warriors aren't 'going to lie down' against Clippers

    After losing by 40 points in Game 2, Stephen Curry vows the Warriors will be more physical with the Clippers in Game 3. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 31 minutes ago
  • Tracy McGrady makes Sugar Land Skeeters opening day roster

    Tracy McGrady makes Sugar Land Skeeters opening day roster

    Tracy McGrady's baseball dream lives on. … More »

    Big League Stew - 32 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected after foreign substance discovered on his neck

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected after foreign substance discovered on his neck

    The Yankees pitcher was involved in a similar controversy against the Red Sox earlier this month. … More »

    Big League Stew - 37 minutes ago
  • M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    With one swing, Kyle Seager hopes he ended his personal skid at the plate and the Seattle Mariners' slide. ''Any time you see the ball hit the ground, it's obviously a big confidence booster,'' Seager said. Thankfully.'' Seager hit a three-run … More »

    AP - Sports - 45 minutes ago
  • James All the Way

    James All the Way

    LeBron James picks up the loose ball and throws down a one-handed slam in transition. … More »

    NBA.com - 50 minutes ago
  • Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps has withdrawn from one of the three events he planned to compete in at his eagerly-anticipated return to competitive swimming. Phelps had entered the heats for the 50 metres freestyle, 100m … More »

    Reuters - 51 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL schedule: Thanksgiving will be an NFC party, with some great games

    2014 NFL schedule: Thanksgiving will be an NFC party, with some great games

    It's been a while since every Thanksgiving NFL game was a great matchup. There's always a dud. Not this year. By making a tweak with the networks, the NFL guaranteed three tremendous matchups. The day starts with Chicago at Detroit, followed by … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 53 minutes ago
  • Benzema strike gives Real edge over holders Bayern

    Benzema strike gives Real edge over holders Bayern

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid struck early through Karim Benzema and comfortably held Bayern Munich at bay to beat the holders 1-0 on Wednesday and move a step closer to a first Champions League final in 12 years. Chasing a … More »

    Reuters - 53 minutes ago
  • Injured players eager to get to work with Colts

    Dwayne Allen spent months envisioning the day he could get back to work for the Colts on the practice field. Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne says he's feeling good about his recovery from a torn ACL in his right knee, though doctors have instructed … More »

    AP - Sports - 54 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL schedule: Packers-Seahawks 'Fail Mary' reunion kicks off season

    2014 NFL schedule: Packers-Seahawks 'Fail Mary' reunion kicks off season

    The NFL isn't messing around with its 2014 schedule, starting off with Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, a rematch of the Fail Mary game. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 55 minutes ago
  • Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his team for beating holders Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first leg without their two biggest names taking a leading role. Cristiano Ronaldo, … More »

    Reuters - 56 minutes ago
  • Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void. Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game … More »

    AP - Sports - 57 minutes ago
  • Kidd-Gilchrist's And-one

    Kidd-Gilchrist's And-one

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist draws the foul and gets the tough bucket to fall … More »

    NBA.com - 58 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL regular-season schedule - Week by week

    2014 NFL regular-season schedule - Week by week

    The 2014 NFL season schedule was released Wednesday. See who your favorite team faces and when. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 59 minutes ago
  • Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing. Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks on Wednesday. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 1 minute ago
  • Should the CFL go to a harder salary cap?

    Should the CFL go to a harder salary cap?

    Wednesday's news that the Saskatchewan Roughriders were the only team to exceed the CFL's salary cap in 2013 (they spent $4,417,975 in salaries, $17,975 over the cap) is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, this breaks one pattern; the … … More »

    55 Yard Line - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. A's President Michael Crowley issued the statement Wednesday after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority said the team owes more than $5 million … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Ducks without Getzlaf, Selanne vs. Stars

    Ducks without Getzlaf, Selanne vs. Stars

    DALLAS (AP) -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is out of Game 4 against the Dallas Stars because of an upper-body injury. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Heat extend deal in Miami through 2040

    Saying they reaffirm the team's commitment to the city, the Miami Heat announced Wednesday night that they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade County another 10 years through 2040. Heat managing partner Micky Arison, whose team … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    By Keith Weir MUNICH (Reuters) - Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial for bribery in Germany on Thursday in a case that could see the Briton's long dominance of the motor sport ended by a jail sentence. Prosecutors in Munich … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night's pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars. According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Michael Phelps is making a comeback after nearly two years out of the pool for the simplest of reasons: He missed the sport that has been his entire life. ''Looking at a black line for hours on end, I don't know what made me do it,'' he said … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Red Sox demote struggling OF Nava

    The Red Sox demoted struggling switch-hitting outfielder Daniel Nava and recalled right-hander Alex Wilson on Wednesday. Nava, 31, was a big part of Boston's run to the 2013 World Series title, but was hitting just .149 with two homers and three … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 29 minutes ago
  • James Spins and Hits

    James Spins and Hits

    LeBron James spins off his defender and lays it in. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
  • Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has an interesting suggestion after Yunel Escobar's stuck out a pitch with a 4-2 count: give him credit for a walk. Escobar struck out in the fifth inning Tuesday night after the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
  • Horschel aiming to defend Zurich title

    Horschel aiming to defend Zurich title

    There's something about the rhythm of life in the Big Easy that appeals to Billy Horschel, who acknowledges that he can be a little ''hyper'' for even his own liking on the PGA Tour. Horschel earned his first PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 31 minutes ago
  • Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    The Chicago Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field in the most appropriate way: with a gut-wrenching loss. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five runs in the ninth to … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 33 minutes ago
  • Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

    Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

    By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One day after joining baseball's exclusive 500 home run club, Albert Pujols insists he is not concerned with reaching another longball milestone. Let the fans and the media talk about 600 or 700 home runs, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
  • Jones returns to Drake for shuttle hurdle relay

    Jones returns to Drake for shuttle hurdle relay

    Lolo Jones has decided to run the Drake Relays after waffling on a return to her hometown meet a year ago. But rather than compete in the high-profile 100-meter hurdles, Jones will make her transition from the bobsled back to the blue oval in a … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 36 minutes ago
  • Padres RHP Johnson out for season

    Padres RHP Johnson out for season

    San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson is scheduled to undergo elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time and will miss the entire season. He strained his elbow during spring training and the Padres initially thought he would be out … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • NBA playoffs - Three things to watch for Thursday

    NBA playoffs - Three things to watch for Thursday

    Yahoo Sports' Evan Doherty looks ahead to the trio of Game 3's between the Thunder-Grizzlies, Pacers-Hawks and Clippers-Warriors. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • Trumbo sidelined by stress fracture

    Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo will be sidelined for an extended period of time because of a stress fracture in his left foot. Manager Kirk Gibson said Trumbo will get a second opinion from Dr. Michael Lee in Arizona before a timetable … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 45 minutes ago