I must first say that I respect Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown's decision not to trade Carson Palmer after he said that he would retire unless he was traded. He acted on principle, and having principle is always something to be respected.
That being said, it is a monumentally stupid decision.
The Bengals are a team with very little talent on either side of the ball. They have no proven quarterback, few receiving options and little pass rush power outside of Carlos Dunlap.
They do have two of the best cornerbacks in the league in Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, but the safeties are poor and the linebackers are either too inexperienced or too old to be threats.
So, with so little talent, why wouldn't you trade Palmer? The Bengals are rebuilding and most of their talent is young. With Carson Palmer probably past his prime, wouldn't you want to unload him and start over with the guy you think is your future, Andy Dalton?
Apparently not, if you are Mike Brown.
No matter what happens, whether through retirement or trade, Palmer is gone. So why not allow the guy, who has given your organization so much, to keep playing by trading him, instead of having him follow through on his threat to retire?
We all know what will happen if Palmer retires. He will come back next year, force his way out with his high salary and sign elsewhere. Yes, Mike Brown would cost the aging Palmer a precious year of football and exact a small amount of revenge for bailing on the team, but it's about winning in the NFL.
Sometimes you have to work with and meet the demands of guys you don't like to win in the NFL; Mike Brown doesn't seem to get that.
If Brown trades Palmer, he will get a good draft pick or picks in return. Sure, Palmer wins, but so do the Bengals. They will be able to add good players through the draft and speed up the rebuilding process.
Unfortunately for Bengals fans, it seems like this won't happen. Mike Brown seems dead set on showing Palmer who is boss, and it's going to hurt the Bengals.
Good teams know when to let great players go. Last year, the New England Patriots traded Randy Moss during the middle of the season when it became obvious thing were not going to work out between the two sides. The Patriots ended up having the best record in the league.
Another example is the Oakland Raiders trading Ken Stabler before the 1980 season. The Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl without their star quarterback.
Sadly, the Bengals are not a good team. They have struggled greatly over the last two decades and have never won a Super Bowl, and decisions like this are the reason.
The ability to swallow your pride and not let emotion get in the way of business is an important trait in the NFL and, in my opinion, Mike Brown lacks this skill. If Brown keeps running his organization like this, I don't expect things to get better in Cincinnati.
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