Carson Palmer will retire if he isn't traded or released by the Cincinnati Bengals before the start of the 2011 NFL season. Palmer, who's been with Bengals his entire career wants out as soon as possible. Carson expressed frustration several weeks ago when he went public about his possible retirement from the game of football.
With everything that's hanging in the balance for the former USC quarterback, one thing is for sure: If he's not traded, he will retire at 31 years of age.
As of right now, the Bengals aren't budging and neither is Carson. He is more likely than not going to retire. Let's take a look at some reasons why he may have jumped to this very rash and unique decision to retire.
Some of the men I know, never go back on their word. When push comes to shove and Carson Palmer is not traded, he'll have to either eat his own words or stay true to them.
Carson is an extremely competitive person, and losing this battle with the Bengal organization is not one he'll want to give up.
Currently, he still stands by his word. He's put the ball in the Bengals court and is playing the waiting game. If he doesn't get what he wants, expect him to be stubborn and stay away from Paul Brown stadium for good.
One of the few seasons Carson led the Bengals to the playoffs was in 2006.
Unfortunately, that was a playoff run he'll never forget. Palmer was taken off the field in the first half of a Bengal-Steeler playoff game after suffering a severe knee injury from Pittsburgh's Kimo von Oelhoffen that resulted in numerous ligament tears and a dislocated knee cap.
Since 2006, Palmer has continued to battle with on and off nagging injuries. Like most athletes, there comes a time when the health of your body becomes more of a reality and less of a question of "whether or not I can play."
In Palmer's case, another serious injury is detrimental.
Although guys like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner have proved that playing in your mid-to-late 30's can be a reality, it's still a distant one for guys like Palmer.
The average NFL career is somewhere around three years. Carson has already played nine seasons, and to him, that is plenty.
In our day and age, 31 years old is about half the age of when you're supposed to retire, but in football land, he's certainly on the back nine.
We all know the famous "$80 million in the bank" quote that came with the territory of Carson's threat to retire. He's gone on record saying that he's financially secure for the rest of his life, and he doesn't have to play football for money.
Hearing that he'll only play for the love of the game means that he no longer enjoys playing football in Cincinnati.
If you have money, you can do whatever you want. In Carson's case, he could walk away from the game that made him financially secure for the rest of his life.
Carson has said, "I'll play football for the love of the game, but that would have to be elsewhere," ESPN reports.
The Bengals have not made their nine-year quarterback a happy employee and for that reason, he wants to play football elsewhere.
There's a ton of teams that could use Palmer and a ton of teams that would give the Bengals value back if they did end up trading him.
All we can speculate is that Carson wants to play for any NFL team except for the Bengals, and if that doesn't happen, football elsewhere will not be necessary.
Del Boca Vista phase four here we come!
Even though Carson came out with his request to leave the Bengals before the NFL lockout, he still, like every other NFL player, is experiencing what the lockout means to players.
Carson got a head start mentally on what life would be like without playing football. If not being traded isn't enough for Carson to leave, a lockout for the entire NFL will certainly be enough for him to say, alright I'm done.
Regardless of what happens, he doesn't want any more dissatisfaction from the game of competitive football.
Athletes can sometimes act out when they don't get their way. So can anyone for that matter.
Although we haven't really heard much about Carson Palmer and his unhappiness until lately, he's still got to be frustrated.
Carson has a winning mentality. He did in high school, he did at USC and he still does in Cincinnati. When winners don't win, they get frustrated.
Frustration meter: 9.5
Carson came to Cincinnati in 2003 and since then has led the Bengals to the playoffs twice. Those were the only two years out of the last 20 the Bengals have had a winning record.
For Carson, he's dealt with seven seasons of losing. That can certainly take a tole on a quarterback who comes from a background of success at the position.
It could be that deep down Carson can't handle another season of disappointment. I know Bengals fans are with him on that one.
One of the most frustrating aspects to an elite quarterbacks game is his chemistry with his offensive weapons. The only thing constant in Carson's career offensively is the name "Chad."
T.J. has come and gone, Terrell Owens has come and gone and the list goes on. A big part of why Palmer wants to hang it up is because he believes the guys the Bengals put out their on offense are not enough for him to believe he can win games.
If he thought differently, then this wouldn't be happening. More of an offensive unit with chemistry and depth is something Carson is yearning for.
Cincinnati has failed to provide that for him, and Palmer's patience has worn off.
The Bengals are refusing to trade their franchise quarterback. If that's the case, Carson Palmer will not be back next year.
There is no gray area in this episode of more Ohio sports drama.
It's black and white for Carson. Trade him, which is not going to happen, or he's taking his money and starting a life where a losing season is not an option.