Carson Palmer and the NFC West

Mike asks via Facebook: "Mike, what are the chances of Arizona going after Carson Palmer via trade? I'd think the No. 5 overall choice for Palmer would make more sense than trying to trade for Kevin Kolb."

Mike Sando: I probably would not give up more than a second-round choice for Palmer without being convinced he remained healthy enough to play at a high level. There's no way I would give up the fifth overall choice, and I doubt the Bengals (or quite a few teams) would want to pay a player drafted that early, anyway. Teams will not be rushing into the fifth overall slot, most likely. Arizona needs to use that pick to find a cornerstone player.

Palmer generally does not miss games, but he has suffered significant leg injuries over the years, meaning he has higher miles than the typical 31-year-old quarterback. How have those injuries affected him? I put in a call to Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. and will pass along his thoughts on the matter once we get a chance to discuss the subject.

The Bengals have said they have no plans to trade Palmer. That is what I would expect them to say. It does not necessarily mean they would refuse to trade him under any circumstances. It just means they do not want players bullying them into making personnel moves. They need to stand firm publicly at this time.

Throw out the 2008 season, in which Palmer played only four games, and his passer rating has declined every season since 2005, from 101.1 (2005) to 93.9 (2006) to 86.7 (2007) to 83.6 (2009) to 82.4 (2010).

That does not necessarily mean Palmer is in decline; the Bengals have declined overall. I noted previously that T.J. Houshmandzadeh's yards per reception had declined steadily during his Bengals tenure, but the average spiked in his first season with Seattle.

I think Arizona and San Francisco should monitor Palmer's situation closely and consider acquiring him at a reasonable price if he comes available. Palmer has the smarts, experience and arm to upgrade the position for those teams. Seattle needs to make a decision on Matt Hasselbeck before considering another veteran quarterback.

St. Louis Rams fans are happy to sit out this discussion.