Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer heard exactly what he didn't want to this past Monday when owner Mike Brown reiterated his initial statements that Palmer must either stay with the team or retire. So, the trade that the quarterback ever-so-dearly desires is apparently not an option--at least for now.
Brown has stuck to his guns ever since Palmer expressed interest in leaving Cincinnati, but I doubt he'll keep him forever.
Coming off a dismal 4-12 campaign, the Bengals are a team in transition, particularly on offense, and when you head in a new direction, it's typically best to do away with the old.
Along with the Palmer dilemma, both Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco are highly unlikely to return, and Cedric Benson is a free agent.
Wisely, they used their first two picks in last month's draft to begin the makeover process as they took WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton.
Green was arguably the best offensive player in the draft and should be able to replace Owens and Ochocinco. Moreover, it allows them to eliminate the negative locker room influence and bring in a high-character young man.
Speaking of getting rid of distractions, that's why the Bengals need to move forward without Palmer. Right now, this has developed into one of the biggest stories circulating the NFL and it puts the entire organization in a tough situation.
Not only does management not know what is ultimately to succumb, but this excessive hoopla certainly isn't the proper environment to bring up the future of their franchise in rookie Andy Dalton.
All in all, a young team like the Bengals can't afford to be swamped with these distractions and have to worry about whom their starting quarterback will be
Sure, even with $80 million in the bank and a Harvard MBA, I think it's rather improbable that Palmer decides to retire which gives the Bengals a majority of the leverage. But perhaps, even if he does stay, it's simply too late to mend a relationship that's already been ripped into shreds.
Sooner or later, Brown is going to realize this, and at some point, he's going to have to cut his losses and move on.
Not to mention, with so many teams looking for a veteran signal caller like Palmer, they should get a considerate amount in return.
I understand the team doesn't want to give in, but in this case, value triumphs pride, and I believe they'll eventually make the right move.
Needless to say, it'll be interesting to see how this entire situation plays out from here on.