This Post is Not About Carson Palmer

OK, I lied, it's a little bit about Carson Palmer: Jason Whitlock thinks that Palmer is serious about retirement if he isn't moved.

Palmer is tired of wasting his time with an organization that is not committed to winning. He’d rather retire than play for a team not willing to compete against professionally run franchises.

But that's not what caught my eye about his column. No, that was his against-conventional-wisdom prediction that if the owners lock out the players over the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the players will fold faster than a $2 lawn chair asked to support B.J. Raji.

 

And yeah, that was just an excuse to put in a Raji video. I liked him better than Andre Smith but WTF do I know, right?

Anyway...back on track, Whitlock points to Antonio Cromartie's profanity-laced rant as an example of just how willing the players will be to endure an extended work stoppage.

Cromartie had a lot more to say, but I’m not going to waste time repeating it here. He’s not the most eloquent, concise or thoughtful speaker. Let me translate what he said:

"I got baby mama drama and at least nine mouths to feed. I’m a free agent this offseason and need a new contract. DeMaurice better get this (spit) settled quick, because I can’t get behind on my child-support payments."

Now, the overwhelming majority of NFL players do not have nine kids by eight different women like New York’s fertile, 26-year-old, condom-hating, shutdown corner. But Cromartie is not alone when it comes to baby mama drama among NFL players.

...

This is a totally unfair fight. It’s become cliche to say this is an argument between millionaires and billionaires. No. This is an argument between spoiled rich kids and their parents. Once the parents cut off the money, the mouthy rich kids turn bitch quick.

I'll leave it to time to tell whether Whitlock is right or wrong. However, so far this offseason the Cincinnati Bengals have clearly been playing it as if they expect a long, drawn-out battle. Their entire "no changes" strategy is built upon it: they will, so the argument goes, have a leg up on teams who made changes but then couldn't implement them and get their players ready due to the lockout.

If Whitlock, and not Bengals owner Mike Brown, is right, then what?

Then, think I, the Bengals might, just might, be able to salvage something out of the complete train wreck this offseason has become.

I don't have any illusions that the Bengals are really waiting to see what happens before making changes. I don't think they ever intended to make many -- if any -- changes at all. But with The Franchise rolling out a "trade me" campaign, all bets may be off. In hindsight, it looks like l'affaire Childress may have been an attempt to reel Palmer back in after he asked for a trade earlier last week. If so, either Chilly wasn't interested or Palmer wasn't impressed (or most likely both). A rapid resolution to the CBA crisis would allow the Bengals to move quickly on other fronts (such as trading Chad Ochocinco Johnson) that could defuse tensions between the front office and the starting QB.

It would also let the Bengals get down to business with their own top free agent, CB Johnathan Joseph. I can only see disaster looming in April if Cincinnati goes into the draft with a QB threatening to retire, a top corner in free agent limbo and Chad doing guest spots with Chris Berman and Mel Kiper on Draft Day.

The upshot is, for perhaps the first time in my life, I'm hoping Jason Whitlock is right.

Man, this offseason gets weirder by the minute.

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