Report: Dolphins interested in Carson Palmer

CINCINNATI - Could the Carson Palmer saga in Cincinnati be finally coming to an end?

According to one report, that may be the case.

Rich Smith of AllSportsIntel tweeted the following message Monday night:

**NFL** Just received a call that the Miami Dolphins are talking to the Cincinnati Bengals about QB Carson Palmer.

According to Smith, the Bengals want at least a second-round pick while some outlets have reported Cincinnati wants a first rounder. He said the Dolphins offered a conditional third-round pick that could turn into a second round selection "if certain goals are reached."

Smith said Tuesday afternoon the last thing he heard was that the Bengals were unwilling to budge from a guaranteed second-round pick in the 2012 draft. He and other outlets are also reporting that the Bengals worked out free agent running backs Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson on Tuesday. Current starting running back Cedric Benson is appealing his three-game suspension during a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York on Tuesday.

Channel 9 sources say there is no truth to the Palmer report. However, if there is a team that would be a good fit for Palmer it would be the Dolphins. Miami has struggled to 0-3 start with Chad Henne under center. Before the season Miami was the leading candidate to acquire Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. That trade never happened and the Dolphins stuck with Henne, despite the outcry of many fans who want a change at the quarterback position.

Following the 2010 seasons that saw the Bengals finish 4-12, Palmer asked the organization to trade him or he would retire. Bengals owner Mike Brown has been very adamant about not trading the former Heisman Trophy winner. Before the 2011 season Brown said Palmer was retired and he "wished him well." Palmer reportedly made another effort to be traded and met with Brown face-to-face after the lockout ended in July. Brown did not change his stance and Palmer headed back to California as a retired player. Cincinnati had already moved on from Palmer and drafted quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round of the draft.

The Dolphins may not be the only team interested in Palmer's services. The Associated Press on Monday threw out Palmer's name as one of the quarterbacks the Indianapolis Colts may target. The Colts have started 0-3 and Peyton Manning may miss the rest of the 2011 season with a neck injury. It's highly unlikely though that the Colts would trade for Palmer due to the Bengals' asking price. Depending on Manning's injury, finishing this season with the worst record wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for the Colts since Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be available. Some scouts have said he is the best quarterback to come out of college since Manning.

Miami may also have a shot at Luck if they continue to lose so trading a high pick for Palmer instead of drafting one of the elite college quarterbacks next April might not make the most sense at this time. But, head coach Tony Sporano and general manager Jeff Ireland, both hired by Bill Parcells who's no longer there, are on the hot seat so maybe they believe making a trade could help save their jobs.

Like most things in sports, money is a big factor. According to several reports, Palmer carries a cap figure of $8.97 million while the Dolphins only have $8 million in cap space available.

This isn't the first nor will it be the last "report" about Palmer potentially being traded. Until the former USC Trojan officially files his retirement papers with the NFL or Mike Brown does ship the quarterback to a new team, people will speculate because Palmer can still play and there is always a need for quarterbacks. Just ask Brett Favre.

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