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Rick Reilly: Mike Brown Is Cheaper Than Your Local Goodwill

ESPN columnist Rick Reilly digs into Bengals president Mike Brown, mostly for his insistence on not trading quarterback Carson Palmer. In truth Reilly checks off your basic talking points that we've featured on this site since New Years Eve; and the five New Years Eves before that. Reilly, who writes that Brown "makes four people do the work of eight" remembers:

Most teams have four or five scouts; Brown keeps one or two. One time in the 1980s -- before the Internet -- I flew in and asked to see the newspaper clip files on a few players. "We aren't quite caught up on our clip files," the weary PR guy said, "but you could go through those." He was pointing to three 12-foot stacks of unopened Cincinnati Enquirers. Nice.

As much as beating on Mike Brown is the in-thing to do, one has to remember that Paul Brown was still around by this time and his son Mike, being the team's assistant General Manager. Though we largely overlook the point because we love it when a nationally syndicated author writes something about our team's fearless front office. Reilly may be further appealing to the fans.

What I don't get is why the taxpayers of Cincinnati aren't boycotting. Mike Brown promised if they built him a stadium, he'd win. They built it. Brown has gone 72-103-1 since. The mayor should sue. Where's Jerry Springer when you need him?

At the very least, I'd be trying to force Brown to move to L.A. and start over someday with a new franchise. L.A. wouldn't mind. Those fans tolerate the Clippers!

Cincinnati's not the city it once was. Getting a new franchise wouldn't happen; not with other markets that still haven't been tapped.

If I'm Palmer, I watch the signing wires like a hawk. As soon as the Bengals climb to within $11.5 million of the hard salary cap, I beeline it to Cincinnati and sign. That would force Brown to either cut five or six players to be able to pay me -- or sign my freedom papers.

Until then, Cincinnati, enjoy what Brown can do for you. It won't be much. If you win two games this year, throw him a parade.