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Mailbag: Was Mike Brown A Genius For Trading Carson Palmer Or Just Lucky?

Many readers have an opinion, but unlike our millions upon millions of members who comment on this site, those readers would rather not make themselves known to discuss (and sometimes debate) their points of view on the website. While I urge most people to join the discussions on the site, in the end its their prerogative. So we receive a good chunk of emails from readers in which I spend some time collaborating with, talking about the Bengals and the issues facing the Bengals. One of those readers sent me a question that got me thinking:

Do you think Mike Brown was a genius for holding onto Carson Palmer for so long?

In a word, no. My belief is that Brown was completely lucky, fully intending to adhere to the principles he echoed during July's press conference, saying that he won't reward players that demand a trade while under contract. If not for Cleveland's Chris Cocong breaking Jason Campbell's collarbone, this trade doesn't happen, which greatly benefited with Hue Jackson's previous association with the Cincinnati Bengals. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Mike and Mike in the Morning on Wednesday, the Bengals declined an offer similar to what the Washington Redskins gave up for Donovan McNabb (two and a four); a deal that many experts believed the Bengals would have received.

Simply because Mike Brown refused to accept Washington's offer for a one and conditional three in 2008 for wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, I'm not exactly convinced that Brown was even willing to accept this trade, especially considering the headlines he's generated by being so stubborn with his point of view. And as one knows with Brown, when he takes a stance publicly, he will resist it with every molecule in his body. I believe, and this is nothing more than personal conjecture, Marvin Lewis and Katie Blackburn were needed to convince Brown to make the deal for two reasons; Help improve fan relations by acquiring a first and second round draft pick (you did see the reaction from all of us, right?) and as a path towards continual improvement with the team's foundation.

In the end, and that's all that matters, Brown deserves the credit for setting his "principles" aside and pulling the trigger. It concludes the suffocating story on Carson Palmer's tragic ending and it looks to the future with a certain foresight that this organization has lacked for some time. At the same time I'm not buying that Mike Brown expected all of this to happen, no. Patience is a virtue and it won out, but if not for Cocong's hit on Campbell last weekend, Palmer stays "retired" and we're looking at the 2012 NFL draft as the next window for a trade.