Miami Dolphins QB Chad Henne's seat keeps getting hotter. Not only are the Dolphins seriously considering selecting a quarterback in next month's NFL Draft, they are also reportedly interested in acquiring disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller Carson Palmer.
Palmer, who has played seven seasons in Cincinnati after winning the 2002 Heisman Trophy at USC, wants out of Cincinnati. The Miami Herald reported today that the Dolphins are indeed interested in acquiring him. The Dolphins have crunched the numbers on all available veteran quarterbacks, and the Herald called Palmer "the player folks in the Dolphins organization would love in a Dolphins jersey."
But Sports Illustrated's NFL insider Peter King did not list Miami as a likely destination for Palmer in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback column (he thinks San Francisco, Arizona, or Minnesota would nab Palmer).
Whether Palmer will be available to the Dolphins is another story altogether. Palmer has made no secret of his desire to seek exile from NFL's Siberia, threatening to retire if the Bengals do not trade or release him. Cincinnati has so far said it will not trade Palmer, but if they fear he will actually retire rather than don the striped helmet once again, they may be tempted to try and get something in return for the malcontent quarterback.
Would Palmer be a significant upgrade over Henne? Palmer earned two Pro Bowl selections in 2005 and 2006, but his performance has dropped off since then. In the past two seasons, Palmer posted a 61.2 percent completion percentage and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt. He threw for 7,064 yards with 47 touchdowns against 33 interceptions while starting all 32 games for the Bengals over that stretch.
Over the same stretch, Henne threw for fewer yards (6,179) and touchdowns (27), but his 6.6 yards per attempt and 61.1percent completion percentage are almost exactly similar (as are his 33 interceptions). And Henne did not have a pair of Pro Bowlers in his wide receivers corps.
Acquiring Palmer would clearly be a stopgap measure until the Dolphins can develop a young quarterback, but whether he represents a short-term improvement over Chad Henne remains to be seen.
David Hill is a Miami native who used to be able to name every quarterback who has started for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired. He has since lost count.