Jason Cole: Bengals "Leaked Their Hope" That Carson Palmer Would Return

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 26: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws a pass during the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 26 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. The Bengals 34-20. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Cincinnati Bengals "leaked their hope" that former franchise quarterback Carson Palmer eventually returns. While we're not absolutely confident that there's a point to this, besides a quarrel such as a scorned lover (Bengals) unable to truly resolve a bad breakup in their respective minds, Cole did acknowledge that there's "a major concern in Cincinnati" as a result.

As much as our instincts instruct us to completely disregard Cole's report, we think there's a variance of truth to it. Though it's probably nothing more than opening day jitters -- more so from the Bengals front office than the rookie quarterback -- it's an impression that's been developing since reports surfaced that Palmer met with the Bengals front office in Cincinnati before training camp.

Truth is we just don't think that the Bengals front office isn't completely confident with Dalton right now. Maybe they shouldn't be; he's a rookie being coached by a rookie offensive coordinator (though Ken Zampese is an accomplished quarterbacks coach). And that's not to say anything about the coaching staff, who have largely praised Dalton for absorbing the playbook and being as ready as a rookie quarterback can be for the opening weekend this Sunday.

What's more disastrous than anything is that reports keep surfacing that the Bengals are reaching out to Palmer. How does a 23-year old rookie quarterback take that? Drafted in the second round, given the starting job and now the team is reaching out to a disgruntled quarterback that's threatening retirement if he's not traded? Really? That's the impression that the Bengals front office wants to give to the team's starting quarterback? That's the welcome you want to give to a rookie quarterback, who is watching a former franchise quarterback turn his back to the team after having enough their crap, electing to retire in the process due to his issues with the organization.

Let's speculate on this even further. Coaches are encouraged by Dalton's development whereas a report surfaces that the front office is interested in bringing Palmer back. Is this a result of Marvin Lewis having added authority with personnel that was given to him as a condition to sign a two-year contract in January? Begrudgingly, I might add. And is this the result of a front office with less authority making it known how they feel, using the media with unsubstantiated reports? Of course we're completely speculating here. That's what we do when the issue of Mike Brown rocks our minds like a migraine with a machete.

As for Palmer actually returning, don't even worry about that part of the Soap Opera. It's not happening.

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