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Should Carson Palmer Fulfill his Contract?

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In the world of the Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin -- a world which is completely black and white -- Mike Brown is always wrong and getting hit on the head with a mallet is always funny. In the recent Carson Palmer drama, however, some have argued that maybe Brown isn't as much in the wrong as others claim he is. Responding to a comment by a reader with the handle 'mcowett,' Paul Daugherty writes on Cincinnati.com that although he finds himself in the Carson Palmer camp, the issue might be a lot more gray than some make it out to be. 

Should our knee-jerk (and generally deserved) disdain for The Family’s handling of The Men color every opinion we have? Palmer did sign the deal. What place should mcowett’s "honor, integrity and a man’s word" have in all of this? TML’s (The Morning Line) 3 decades doing this pushes him toward the cynical side when it comes to big words such as those. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have a place in the discussion.

After all, nobody ever put a gun to Palmer's head, telling him to sign this contract for millions and millions of dollars 'or else.' A deal is a deal, right? If you ink your name into a contract, you're expected to fulfill that contract, are you not? So the question is, why are so many people quick to come to Palmer's defense on the issue?

For one, Carson has earned a much better reputation in his stay with Cincy than Brown has. Twenty years of futility can only be heaped on the shoulders of one person: Mike Brown. His reputation of failure has earned him little more than distrust and ill-will from Bengals fans.  And at the same time, it's not hard to sympathize with Palmer wanting out -- after all, how many of us have daydreamed that in a different world, we were Patriots fans?

But perhaps what it comes down to is that if Palmer really isn't coming back -- if he's made up his mind that he's no longer a Bengal -- then the fight is already lost. Mike Brown is still swinging fists wildly in the air at an imaginary target. At this point, we might as well get something in return for his early exodus. Something, that is, besides ulcers.