Nothing ever changes, particularly when it comes to Mike Brown. With the official word coming from the Bengals front office that they have no intention of letting Palmer go, it appears that any hope of getting value for Palmer is going the way of the dodo - walking straight off a cliff.
But this is far from over. With the NFL draft still on the horizon, the Bengals front office has to decide if they want to pick up the price tag for a shiny new QB. For the Bengals organization, which is planning for life without Carson, this is a quandary, but for the Carson Palmer camp it might just be an opportunity.
Steve Wyche from NFL.com suggests that Palmer might use the price tag of a new QB as leverage against the organization - by NOT retiring.
We could see the Bengals maybe use a first or second round draft pick on a quarterback - they've got to protect themselves. Marvin Lewis at the combine said "We have to be ready to move on without Carson Palmer." Here's the potential power play by Carson Palmer: If they draft a QB in the first or second round, then maybe by the opening of training camp Carson Palmer shows up and then he says, "Ok, now you have two high priced quarterbacks on your roster. What are you going to do?"
So if the Bengals decide to pick up the price tag for, say, Cam Newton, AND Palmer decides to come back next season, the Bengals could potentially have $70 million dollars or more invested in the quarterback position through 2014 - giving Palmer even more leverage to demand a trade. So perhaps this sheds some light on why Geoff Hobson is bracing Bengals fans for the possibility that the organization won't draft a QB in the first round of the draft.
Buckle your seat belts Bengals fans. It's going to be a bumpy ride.