"Guys have opportunity to retire and walk away," Lewis said. "And right now that's the situation Carson is in at this point."
- Marvin Lewis (5.11.2011)
The stone cold truth with the head coach's comments on Carson Palmer is that the team is virtually certain that Carson Palmer will retire. Besides shipping him a gold watch and a certificate of service with Mike Brown's stamped signature, the Bengals are simply moving forward as if "The Franchise" is retiring. Good for them. We've often addressed this team's lack of foresight and when the team's quarterback future suddenly went bleak, they were proactive enough to address it.
But the team isn't trading him and if he follows through on his threat to retire, the Bengals will gladly see him off to the quick end of his NFL career.
Later Lewis said, "He feels the best thing for him is to go and retire and be with his family. That's a decision any player can make. The good thing for us is the decision was made early on, in January and we've been able to plan accordingly and go forward accordingly. For that, we benefited."
Thanks for your contributions, Carson. But it's time for us to move on. Trade. No. It makes too much sense to trade a player away that doesn't want to be here. Philosophically, the Bengals would rather prevent further individual insurrections from players under contract rather than getting something for them in return. That might be honorable enough but you're losing out on draft picks that you could use to help further rebuild your team. And when you completed a 4-12 season only a few months ago, you need help to rebuild.
However, on the off chance that Palmer decides to return and rebuild enough value that it convince Bengals ownership to trade him, Lewis did admit that Palmer would start, allowing the rookie Andy Dalton to groom.