Just before the Conference Championship games last weekend, ESPN's Chris Mortensen broke news that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer demanded a trade. If he didn't get his demand fulfilled, said Mort, then Palmer would play the retirement card because "he has enough money in the bank." Money given to him by , but that's not really an issue here because quite frankly, no one with any historical understanding of the Mike Brown-run Cincinnati Bengals faults Palmer for wanting to leave this franchise. Even Bengals fans are becoming former Bengals fans because many of us believe that if Brown isn't going to be serious about this team, then why should Bengals fans care?
Bengals President Mike Brown came out and curtly said "we are not trading Carson Palmer." When asked about Palmer's desire to retire rather than return to Cincinnati, Brown didn't believe him, but wanted to reach out to him. Then again, it's not like he didn't have the chance. Reports surfaced that Brown and Palmer met about this before anything reached the ears of the media. The former star quarterback made the same demands that Mort broke last weekend. David Dunn, Palmer's agent, released a statement saying that a "split would be in the mutual interest of both sides."
We never believed for a second Palmer wanted to be traded just because the Bengals finished 4-12. If that were the case, then fans could easily point to Palmer's play as the reason for the team only winning four games. According to Bengals play-by-play voice Brad Johansen, Carson Palmer had demanded "numerous request to Mike Brown for change in order to return." This alone makes Palmer a favorite in the Palmer vs. Bengals debate. How bad could his demand for a trade be if he's requesting changes of the owner and organization?
Boomer Esiason, the last quarterback to take the Bengals to the Super Bowl and current CBS NFL analysis, has experience in this matter with Mike Brown. In 1992, after the Bengals hired Dave Shula, Boomer asked for a trade and was finally sent to the New York Jets a year later once the Bengals drafted David Klingler to replace him. If history teaches us anything, it's that if you're trading Palmer, you're more likely to pick up another Klingler, than a replacement comparable to Palmer's elite play before the surplus of injuries declined his performances.
Esiason believed that Palmer could give the Bengals multiple draft picks. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco sympathized. Scout Inc's Matt Williamson graded Palmer's 2010 performance, saying that he "pretty much failed every test." ESPN Insider Adam Schefter said that Brown won't trade Palmer because he's the "most stubborn executive in all of football."
And we wondered, what the hell else has to happen for Mike Brown to get it?