Carson Palmer is frustrated. Carson Palmer is done. Carson Palmer would rather retire. Carson Palmer has bank and the luxury of stepping away to enjoy life with his family. Fans struggle to find fault with Palmer's logic. He's frustrated. We're frustrated. Everyone is frustrated. Changes? Only applies to your level of hope.
But not really. People are on both sides of the argument, which tends to end with an agreement and bottles of beer bashing together at the proclamation that the front office creates this atmosphere. Regardless, CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyle rips into Palmer.
And I'll bet he's not alone in his opinion (mainly because I actually stood up and applauded when I finished reading)
Palmer isn't retiring from football so much as he's giving up on the Bengals. There's a difference, and it's not subtle. It's not semantics. Palmer was the Bengals' quarterback, their leader -- he had the power to reign in the malcontents in his huddle, idiots like Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Owens -- but he passed the buck. Palmer pretended he was just one cog in the machine instead of acknowledging that his position and salary made him as powerful as anyone in the building, including coach Marvin Lewis.
Nope, Palmer let it go. He let Houshmandzadeh and Ochocinco pout, whine and scream. He forced the ball to Owens all last season, even as Owens repeatedly quit on throws that would have required tough or painful catches, simply because forcing the ball to Owens beat the alternative -- having T.O. savage him in the press.
The Bengals' passing game didn't hit its stride until the final two games of the season -- Palmer threw for 574 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions and completed 73 percent of his passes -- and those were the only two games the team played without Ochocinco and Owens. Coincidence? Of course not. Those guys dragged down the team, and Palmer let it happen.
And now he's standing up for himself? Now? That's not leadership or even independence. It's passive-aggression, and it's pathetic, and it cannot be allowed to succeed. Palmer can be finished playing, but let's be clear on our terms.