Jim Trotter of SI interviewed Carson Palmer concerning his 2011 season. Trotter started out by asking if Palmer had been ready to retire before the start of last season.
"I don't think so. I don't know. I don't think I ever thought it wouldn't happen -- eventually. I figured they've got to trade me at some point, whether it's Week 1 or 6 or after the season. At some point they have to do it, so I never really let my mind go to: 'This is it. I'm done playing.' "
Trotter followed up by inquiring about Palmer's thoughts on the Bengals organization, dealing with Mike Brown, and Brown's reputation for contractual negotiations.
"At some point you have to do what's best for your team and your organization and your future. When you looked at it from the standpoint that it was the best thing for the organization, and you've got a really good young team, and you've got something to build on for the future -- it was just time. I was looking at it that way for myself, and I convinced myself that you have to do this. It's just what's best. It was just time for them to move on. They had a really good young, up-and-coming team. They were a little ways off but very talented, and it was time to start over with a new quarterback. Their recipe with me didn't work. I could have been wrong, I could have been right, but I kept looking at it like they have a responsibility to do what's best for their organization, so it just makes sense to trade me."
"I know what I was dealing with. I had been there long enough and heard enough stories; I know him on a personal level like that. I'd heard enough stories. But it was time."
Lastly, what Palmer did with his down time on Sundays.
"DirecTV came out but we couldn't get a strong enough signal because there was a tree in the way. I was also too lazy to call and have them come out again. Oh, yeah. I got the itch to play again when I was watching the games on TV. It wasn't easy. But at the same time I'm such a fan of the game and the players -- friends, guys I played with in Cincinnati -- that as much as it's not fun and sucks to watch when you still want to play, I loved seeing guys do well. That part eased the pain."
"Oh, yeah, I watched them. My feelings about wanting to leave had nothing to do with any player or any coach. It had nothing to do with anyone other than the guy running the organization. That was it. I cheered them on, rooted them on, while I was out. I loved playing with a lot of guys who were there. I rooted them on and liked seeing them do well."
Source: Sports Illustrated
Now, I'm not a Palmer defender, once he quit on the team and the city, I lost all respect for Palmer. Counting myself among the fans that were glad to see Palmer leave while the Bengals were fortunate enough to get anything for Palmer, much less what the Raiders gave up. Yet, reading what Palmer has to say on the matter, maybe it has been long enough for me, I believe Palmer. He had an issue with Brown and felt the situation in Cincy had grown into a workplace he found untenable. Nor would I blame anyone who still believes Palmer is a quitter that lacks heart or any Bengals' fan that looks forward to Nov 25th, 2012. I'd count myself among those fans as well.