Nonetheless, most media pundits tend to agree that the Bengals would likely explore the trade option and more than likely address the quarterback situation in the upcoming draft in April.
Reports coming out of the owners meeting Monday morning in New Orleans seem to contradict that assumption, continuing the now incredibly tiresome back-and-forth sparring between the Bengals and Palmer.
"That part of it is still the same," Brown said about the team's stance on the idea of trading Palmer, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I didn't say anything inconsistent with that. I want him back, and I will just leave it at that. I haven't talked to any other team about him, and I have no plans to trade him.
"I've seen any number of players who at one point did not want to reenlist come back and come back and be quite happy about it. It depends how it goes. As far as getting value, I don't see any opportunity to get what I consider to be value. Having said that, it doesn't make sense to look to trade. It only makes sense to wait and hope Carson comes around."
Bengals fans will cite this as yet another example of Mike Brown's inability to run a successful football team, admitting that players (emphasis on the plural) "did not want to reenlist and come back."
This is surely a questionable way in which to view the running of a football team—if it is quite common for players to not want to play for your team, doesn't something need changing? This comment further backs the idea that Mike Brown is losing what little grip he had left.
When probed further about the quarterback position, Brown stated: "The quarterback position is one that is key, and we don't know how that is going to end up, that's a very big question still to be answered. If it is answered right, our chances will be pretty good. We're going to try to get it answered right, and there are different ways to do that."
If there are "different ways to do that," Mike Brown certainly has no intention of exploring them until all other routes are dried up (a la hiring Jay Gruden at OC late in the day).
What is clear is that the Bengals still have a lot of questions to answer and have not yet figured out how to address them.
Brown also spoke of planning for the future, saying he wouldn't rule out trading up or down in the draft, but if the Bengals stick at four, he said, they're looking for "a player that helps us over a half-dozen, even a dozen years."
He also spoke of trying to re-sign Jonathan Joseph and Cedric Benson before the lockout, but found the prices extravagant, and now hope (cue collective grown from Bengals Nation) they'll be able to win both when they go on the free-agent market.
As of today, the Bengals need to face up to the realization that they could be without Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson and Jonathan Joseph in the 2011 NFL season, and with other needs that still need addressing, this news might make Bengals fans start to consider cheering for a lockout.