Palmer deal 'not likely'

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

The Renegades are refusing to pay what it will currently take to land Jesse Palmer.

Not the money, but the players.

While negotiations with agent Peter Schaffer on a contract that would make Palmer the CFL's highest paid player appeared to be moving forward, trade talks for the Ottawa-bred quarterback's rights hit a brick wall yesterday.

The Montreal Alouettes want considerably more than former Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks in return. Along with the 25-year-old Renegades backup QB, they would accept different packages for Palmer -- one of which is believed to include promising, Orleans-born offensive lineman Obby Khan.

Renegades VP of football operations Forrest Gregg said he's no longer confident a deal will get done.

"Right now, if I had to put a percentage on it, I'd say not likely," said Gregg, who believes Palmer is blessed with the "tangibles and intangibles" to play in the CFL. "Any time a deal is made, it has to be good for everybody. For us, (the Montreal offers) are not good."

While Schaffer spoke on local radio of upcoming workouts his client has with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos, Gregg contacted the agent of Tim Couch, a former first overall NFL pick who the Renegades put on their neg list last weekend. He was told that Couch, who had off-season shoulder/elbow surgery, is still drawing interest from teams down south.

The Renegades are also high on Seneca Wallace, the backup QB in Seattle, who is on their neg list. Montreal was told Ottawa would not include him in a deal for Palmer.

Meanwhile, incumbent QB Kerry Joseph confirmed that he was asked by the Renegades on Monday if he'd be interested in talking about a long-term deal.

"I haven't talked to my agent about it but yeah, I would be interested," said Joseph, who enters the option year of his contract in 2006.

Joseph, who has struggled while the Renegades have dropped three straight games, insists he hasn't let the Palmer talk distract him.

"I just worry about my situation," he said. "The last two weeks, this has been all the talk. There's been no talk about Winnipeg (who the Renegades face in a crucial home game Friday)."

Banks understands why the Renegades are talking about getting an Ottawa-born QB, a "cool dude" who he met here last summer.

"I don't want to go nowhere," said Banks, who has been elevated to No. 2 status and says a rotator cuff problem that has limited his movement this season has improved. "Personally, I think I can be a starter in this league now."

EXTRA POINTS: Paopao says both DB Korey Banks (thigh) and RB Josh Ranek (ankle) will likely be fine for Friday ... A possible addition could be WR Matt Cherry, who joined the team this week after being the last cut of the Cincinnati Bengals.


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