Even after last night’s debacle in Detroit I’m still unwavering in my support of Mike Brown and his decision to not trade Carson Palmer. This is unfamiliar territory for me over the last 20 years of Bengal-dom. I feel like a stranger in a strange land by standing arm in arm with MB. Almost as strange as I felt saying “playoff bound” those 2 seasons. I’m much more comfortable watching my team go 4-12 year in and year out and to be in complete disagreement with ownership then where I find myself today. It’s not the norm and I don’t like leaving my comfort zone very often.
I know that if we traded Palmer, when the NFL went live again, it would not have changed one thing about last night’s game. Even if Palmer was in uniform in The Motor City I’m not sure the outcome would have been much different. Maybe we wouldn’t have endured the worst preseason beating in franchise history, but we would still have been embarrassed none the less. Anyway, would a team that’s in rebuilding mode benefit more by trading Palmer for a couple of future draft picks instead of forcing him into retirement? The logical answer is yes, of course, but I’m not changing my allegiance just yet.
Carson Palmer signed a long term deal with the Bengals. He knew full well the history of Mike Brown and the myriad parades of lost dreams. Even knowing this he said the following (from ESPN.com) after signing his extension, “Hopefully this is the last place I’ll end up playing. That’s so rare in this league these days. It’s so rare to see a person have a 5-, 8-, 10-, 12-year career in one place. And I feel very fortunate that it looks like that’s going to be my future.” I can’t fault him for believing there was something special happening in Cincinnati at the time he inked that deal, I believed it too, so we were both duped. However, I didn’t get millions of dollars for drinking the kool-aide. I have to endure the painful calamity of Bengal football for the rest of my life, is it too much to ask him to finish out the last 4 years of his contract?
I know it hurt his feelings when fans booed him, when players were animated towards him, but it is professional sports, it is NFL football. Toughen up, buddy, geez. I get yelled at by my wife on a regular basis, can I demand a trade to the nice old lady who lives across the street? No, of course not. What he should do is Man Up and lead his team, take no crap from those sniveling whiners. This doesn’t happen in New England, and if it does they get a healthy dose of Tom Brady.
And besides, seriously, lets say we do get a couple picks in return for him. What would happen with them? Here are some thoughts on that as well…They’ll play well and then leave for greener pastures (Jonathon Joseph), Get hurt out of the gate and never be the same player they were before the injury (Ki-Jana Carter), never live up to the “savior” hype (David Klingler, Peter Warrick) or they’ll follow the same mundane path of so many others who floundered in a leaderless organization and just obscurely waste away in the city on the Ohio River.
So, here’s what I have to say. Carson Palmer…we’re calling your bluff! If you want to play football again it’s going to be played in stripes.
Because not trading you adds to the mind numbing lore of Bengals’ football.