CINCINNATI (AP) - For the first time in more than eight years, there’s no Palmer quarterbacking the Bengals.
Backup Jordan Palmer was waived on Saturday, giving older brother Carson even more reason to stay away from the forlorn franchise. Jordan was the No. 2 quarterback last season behind his brother, who asked for a trade after a 4-12 finish.
The franchise quarterback has told the team he’d rather retire than play another season with Cincinnati. So far, the Bengals have refused, forcing Palmer to retire rather than play for someone else.
They signed Jordan Palmer to another contract at the start of training camp. He hoped to get a chance to compete for a job, but it became clear quickly that Cincinnati had other plans.
Owner Mike Brown said rookie Andy Dalton would start. The Bengals also signed veteran Bruce Gradkowski. Those two got most of the plays during training camp and the preseason games, leaving Jordan Palmer out of the picture.
It wasn’t a complete surprise when the team let him go on Saturday.
“Based on coming off the offseason and coming into camp, yeah, I’m surprised,” Palmer said, in a phone interview from his home in Cincinnati. “As I started to see this unfolding in terms of the opportunity I was given, I’m not as surprised now.”
Neither were his teammates, who saw him get few opportunities to run the offense during practice.
“Everybody has a time when they’re done with a team and the team’s kind of moving on,” offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “I think he’s moving on from us and they’re moving on from him. He did a great job of the things he had to do.”
The Bengals also released cornerback Fred Bennett, who was on the roster for the last five games in 2010, and waived safety Tom Nelson, cornerback LeRoy Vann, linebacker Stephen Franklin and receiver Jamere Holland.
Carson Palmer was the first overall pick in 2003, coach Marvin Lewis‘ first season in Cincinnati. He sat and watched Jon Kitna run the offense for a year, then took the team to its only two playoff appearances in the last 20 years.
After the Bengals finished 4-12 last season and Lewis agreed to stay as head coach even though Brown said nothing would change, Palmer approached the front office about a trade. Brown insists he won’t trade Palmer because he has four years left on his contract.
Jordan Palmer moved into his brother’s locker when the team broke training camp in Georgetown, Ky. and returned to Paul Brown Stadium. His gear was still there after practice on Saturday.
The Bengals signed him as their No. 3 quarterback before the 2008 season. He appeared in three games that year, throwing a dozen passes. He was promoted to the No. 2 quarterback last season, when he got into one game and threw three times.
After his brother said he wasn’t coming back, Jordan took over the offense during the NFL’s lockout. He had receivers out to his home in California for workouts, and helped organize full-team practices in Cincinnati. He also helped the offense learn new coordinator Jay Gruden’s playbook, and tutored Dalton on the fine points of playing quarterback in the NFL.
“Once I got drafted here, he set up some of the workouts and things like that, so my first introduction to the team was through him,” Dalton said, after practice on Saturday. “He’s helped me out. He’s been around for a while. I hate to see him go.”
During three preseason games, he got to throw only four passes _ fewest among the four quarterbacks in camp. Dan LeFevour, the No. 3 quarterback last season, got more throws than Palmer.
Gradkowski had the advantage of playing for Gruden in Tampa Bay, but struggled while playing with mostly reserves during the three preseason games. He has completed 57 percent in the preseason with one interception, no touchdowns and a passer rating of only 56.8.
Notes: RB Cedric Benson has been excused from practice. He’s scheduled to go on trial Monday in Austin, Texas, on misdemeanor assault charges from a 2010 altercation outside a bar. Benson faces up to a year in jail if convicted. … Lewis said that CB Adam “Pacman” Jones isn’t expected to fully practice with the team next week. Jones is recovering from neck surgery and hasn’t been allowed to participate in contact drills.
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