One former Bengals first-overall pick is worried for another.
Carson Palmer, who had an ugly falling-out with Cincinnati in his final days as its quarterback, does not sound confident the Bengals will support Joe Burrow well enough — and feels Burrow should be wary.
Before Burrow’s Bengals fell in Super Bowl 2022 to the Rams, Palmer suggested Burrow think long and hard before the second-year star commits long term to the franchise.
“I think Joe’s going to sit back after this game, win or lose, and be like, ‘Man, am I going to re-sign with this team?'” Palmer had told NBC’s “Brother From Another” podcast on Radio Row. “‘Are they willing to do what it takes to continuously build to get back to the next Super Bowl? Next year and the year after that and the year after that? How are they willing to structure salary cap-wise to be able to afford me — but to also be able to afford Ja’Marr Chase when he comes up or Tee Higgins or maybe even re-do this offensive line?’”
The offensive line concerns are real, especially after Los Angeles sacked Burrow seven times.
There is history to unpack with Palmer, who spent his first seven years in Cincinnati after being the top pick in the 2003 draft. Palmer was twice a Pro Bowler as a Bengal, but the Palmer teams reached two postseason games and lost both (the first in a game in which Palmer was injured during his first pass).
Palmer was unhappy and requested a trade after the 2010 season, and Bengals owner and president Mike Brown refused. Palmer threatened to retire, and Brown said there were no plans to move him: He was under contract.
Cincinnati drafted and started Andy Dalton, who was excelling during a 6-2 start to the season when the Bengals finally dealt Palmer to the Raiders.
Over a decade later, Brown is still in power, and Palmer is doubtful his Bengals will do well by Burrow.
On Monday, Palmer urged the Bengals — led by youngsters in Burrow and Chase — to solidify the offensive line and add difference-makers. The time to strike is when teams have young, star quarterbacks on affordable deals.
“Von Miller’s a free agent. They can use another pass-rusher, a third-down specialist. Chandler Jones is out there, another great defensive end,” Palmer said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “They can go out and attack free agency.”
But how much confidence does Palmer have that Brown will handle this well?
“Not a lot,” Palmer said. “I look at history and history says they’re happy with where they’re at and they’re going to sit pat.”