Over the weekend we discussed how Carson Palmer's demand for a trade, while seemingly legit, is followed up with an idle retirement threat that's largely been promoted through unnamed sources and speculation. Though we have no doubt that Palmer wants to be traded, we'll hold the whole "retirement" angle in reserve until either he or his agent stands behind the driveway podium telling observers what he wants to do and what would make him happy. That's not to say we don't believe he would retire; only that at some point we'd actually like to have a name applied to the threat of retirement.
That being said, Bengals coaches have been visiting Carson Palmer, receiving the same conclusive response.
According to a source close to Palmer, members of the team's coaching staff, including head coach Marvin Lewis, visited with Palmer, and all were told the same thing -- namely, that he is resigned to retiring if the Bengals don't accommodate him, which he doesn't expect they will.
In fact, team owner Mike Brown said as much in late January, suggesting that if Palmer doesn't play in Cincinnati next season he doesn't play, period. But that's the point: Palmer is so fed up with the Bengals that sources tell me he doesn't consider that a threat. In fact, according to them, he's OK with not playing ... so long as it's not playing in Cincinnati.
It is unclear what finished him with the Bengals, with one source saying "it's a number of factors that built up over time," but he's so steadfast in his decision that one head coach at the NFL scouting combine told me he was sure Palmer wouldn't play again for Cincinnati. When I notified him that the Bengals had no intention of dealing him, the coach shook his head and said, "Well, then, he'll retire. He's not going to play there again."
Not that more unnamed sources makes us believe that Palmer would retire if he's not traded, it would be as stubborn as Mike Brown, who should make every effort to deal a player that doesn't want to be here as soon as he's able when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed, not to believe there's far more truth to it.