After ongoing speculation into the status of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, team owner Mike Brown has gone on record Monday to say that Palmer will stay in Cincinnati.
"He's key to our plans. He's central to us. He was told that. We count on him going forward. He was told we were in no position to trade him," Brown said at the Senior Bowl.
"It would not be something we would consider doing...we are not looking for offers."
Brown described Palmer's threatening to retire as "impractical" and spoke with high regard of the face of his franchise.
Brown said that he doesn't know why Carson Palmer is unhappy. (If he's struggling to understand that, there are a lot of Bengals fans who would be happy to explain it to him.)
When talking of his meeting with Palmer, Brown said, "He made no demands. He is the way he is. He didn't finger anyone or anything. He's always been careful about that and this was no different.
"He's a great player and an equally fine person and in this discussion he comported himself the way he should and it's what you would expect of him.
"We'll reach out to him, try to understand what's in his craw," Brown said. "Maybe there are things that we can do that will appeal to him. We'll certainly try to do that. We'll see whether we can get it fit back together again in the future."
Brown said he "can't read (Palmer's) mind" about retirement, and when questioned about whether Cincinnati would consider taking a QB in the draft, he commented, "We'll talk about that as we get closer to the draft. We have over three months to figure that out. We aren't looking for offers. Carson knew where I stood when he left."
Brown also took the time to quash rumors surrounding the addition of Brad Childress to the Bengals as offensive coordinator, another proverbial dagger in the heart for Bengals fans' hopes.
Brown's comments on the Palmer situation come as no surprise. They further suggest he's an owner that is struggling to keep touch with the fluid and intense industry that is modern pro football.
His style of management is something that has caused intense backlash from the Bengals faithful, and these comments will no doubt further reinforce the fans' perception of Mike Brown as being out of touch with the business.
With no clear sense of need for change in his words, there is reason to believe the outlook is bleak for the Cincinnati Bengals.
It makes for an interesting upcoming offseason in Cincinnati. Will Palmer pull a Brett Favre and retire before re-signing for another team? Will he simply walk away?
Or will he be forced to endure another campaign in Cincinnati, where his heart will simply not be in it?