Among the massive amounts of news flowing from every source about the Bengals and their potential draftees that they're watching at the NFL Combine this weekend, one quote has stuck out like a sore thumb compared to all the others. That quote is from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and basically shoots down any hopes anybody had that the Bengals would trade Carson Palmer to try to get themselves out of the situation they're in.
Without further ado, the quote of quotes:
"I know my boss and owner is not going to trade him, so we just have to move forward," Lewis said. "We’re going to put the football team together based on that. . . . I don’t know what will happen with Carson in the future."
This means one of two things:
One, the Bengals and Carson Palmer will repair their relationship and Palmer will play for the Bengals in 2011, just like we planned he would before he dropped the trade-me-or-I-retire bomb before the Senior Bowl. He and new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will usher in a new offensive system in Cincinnati not seen since the days of Bill Walsh. The Bengals will likely build an entire new offense around Palmer with new receivers and possibly a new running back. We'll eventually forget about Palmer's trade demand and we might even find ourselves in the playoffs in the next couple years.
Two, Carson Palmer sticks to his guns and sticks it to the Bengals by retiring like he said he would. That leaves the Bengals with Jordan Palmer and Dan LeFevour and a possible draft pick from the upcoming draft in April. Palmer possibly moves on to another team in the next couple years and the Bengals, depending on the draft or free agency, could possibly struggle and re-build with a new quarterback over the next few years.
Which will it be; one or two? We're just going to have to sit around and wait. One thing thing is very clear: the Bengals are going to keep us fairly entertained this off season.
Get your popcorn ready.