Examining Carson Palmer's trade value

The trade market in the NFL is often set by precedents. Therefore, the AFC North blog tapped into ESPN's Stats & Information to get a sense for what the Cincinnati Bengals could get this offseason for quarterback Carson Palmer.

Cincinnati's ownership said publicly the team has no interest in trading Palmer, who threatened to retire despite being owed $11.5 million in 2011. But the Bengals have since drafted former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, who is ready to assume the starting role this upcoming season. That at least opens the door for the Bengals to have a change of heart if a quarterback-needy team provides an offer for Palmer that Cincinnati can't refuse.

So what can the Bengals expect in the open market? Here is a recap of recent offseason trades involving quarterbacks:

  • April 5, 2010: Donovan McNabb from Philadelphia to Washington for Redskins' second-round pick in 2010.

  • April 21, 2010: Byron Leftwich from Tampa to Pittsburgh for the Steelers' seventh-round pick in 2010.

  • April 24, 2010: Jason Campbell from Washington to Oakland for a fourth-round pick in 2012.

  • Feb. 27, 2009: Sage Rosenfels from Houston to Minnesota for Vikings' fourth-round selection in 2009.

  • Feb. 28, 2009: Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel from New England to Kansas City for Chiefs' second-round pick in 2009.

  • April 3, 2009: Jay Cutler and fifth-round pick in 2009 from Denver to Chicago for Kyle Orton, Bears' first-round pick in 2009 and 2010 and a third-round pick in 2009.

  • March 22, 2007: Matt Schaub and Atlanta's first-round pick in 2007 to Houston for the Texans' first- and second-round pick in 2007 and a second-round pick in 2008.

Palmer, 31, falls somewhere within this group of quarterbacks at this stage of his career. He's 31, past his prime and probably not as good as Schaub or Cutler. But he's certainly better than some on this list, such as Campbell, Rosenfels and Leftwich.

Based on recent history, I think it's reasonable for the Bengals to expect a deal similar to McNabb's or Cassel's. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots both got quality second-round picks for trading their veteran quarterbacks. Most teams would probably offer the Bengals future draft picks for collateral, as well.

The Atlanta Falcons got a first-round pick by dealing Matt Schaub several years ago. But Atlanta also swapped its first-round pick with the Houston Texans, which the Bengals wouldn't be interested in doing.

Although the chances aren't great, Cincinnati's best shot of landing a first-round pick for Palmer would be for several teams to get into a bidding war. The Titans (Jake Locker), Vikings (Christian Ponder) and 49ers (Colin Kaepernick) all drafted QBs high, which means those teams are either out of the running or won't be desperate to give up too much for Palmer in a trade.

So a future second-round pick is the most likely option if the Bengals decide to change their stance on Palmer.