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Commentary: Politics, Contracts, Hurt Feelings and Football

When it comes to the Bengals and Carson Palmer, the word complicated is an understatement. Palmer refuses to step foot into Paul Brown Stadium (unless it's as the quarterback of another team) and is perfectly willing to retire if he doesn't get his way. On the other side, Mike Brown doesn't feel that he should reward Palmer for backing out of his commitment and doesn't want to open the door for any other player to "pull a Carson Palmer" in the future, so he's perfectly content with letting Palmer sit in his living room this fall.

Complicated isn't a big enough word.

The team has moved on, though. They'll be starting Andy Dalton at the quarterback position, making him the first rookie quarterback to start the season for the team since Greg Cook did it in 1969. They signed Bruce Gradkowski, a veteran West Coast offense quarterback with ties to new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, to add some experience to the most important position in football.

Where it gets (bigger word than) complicated again is at the third-string quarterback position. The team is going to have to choose between two quarterbacks.

One of them is Dan LeFevour, a sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft from the Chicago Bears out of Western Michigan University where he broke the Mid American Conference records for completions, attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total touchdowns and total offensive yards. He was also the only player in NCAA history to have over 12,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards. He was waived by the Bears during final cuts in 2010 and the Bengals picked him up. He hasn't stepped foot on the field since.

The other is Carson Palmer's younger brother, Jordan. Jordan played at University of Texas at El Paso where he finished his four-year career with a quarterback rating of 82.7, passing for 11,084 yards and 88 touchdowns to 64 interceptions. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL draft and was also waived from the team during final cuts. He then signed with Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League but never got a chance to play because the Bengals picked him up in January of 2008. In the NFL, he's made 15 passing attempts completing 10 of them for 59 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Those aren't good stats, but at least Palmer has stats, which is more than we can say for LeFevour.

So, who is it going to be?

Logically, it would be Palmer. Out of the two, he's the only one with any experience in the NFL and he also showed great leadership by organizing offseason workouts with the receivers. Why wouldn't it be Palmer?

Politics, that's why.

The Carson Palmer situation has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouth and that's not just the fans. The man who makes the decisions, Brown, may have been hurt more by Palmer's trade demand and retirement than anybody else. Couldn't you see Brown cutting Jordan Palmer, effectively putting him out of a job, just as a little "F-You" to Carson? The third-string quarterback isn't going to step foot on the field during the regular season, unless something terrible happens, so what does it really matter? Cutting ties with the Palmers by cutting Jordan would be nothing more than a response to Palmer's attempted power play. 

In my opinion, politics has no place in football. However, professional football is a billion-dollar industry and where there's billions of dollars, there's politics.

If Jordan Palmer finds himself putting the contents of his locker in a cardboard box in the next month, politics were the reason.