The time between the conclusion of the Super Bowl and players reporting to training camp is a time when free agents can sign with new teams and teams can trade players to help better their situations. With the NFL currently in a lockout, such trades and signings cannot be made. However, once a deal is in place, the weeks leading up to the season will be exciting with all the potential moves.
The most intriguing storyline, however, has nothing to do with free agency. It’s the ugly situation brewing in Cincinnati. Carson Palmer, the Bengals starting quarterback, wants out or is threatening to walk away and retire. Management is on record saying they have no intention of trading Palmer. It’s a case of who will call whose bluff? Is Palmer really that unhappy that he would walk away from millions of dollars? Most people close to the situation think Palmer is not bluffing.
The frustration that Palmer is facing most likely stems from the lack of success the team has had in recent years. The Bengals’ organization, at least through the eyes of the media, is perceived to be poorly run. In some cases that’s a fair assessment, especially with the signings of players who have legal trouble or are problems in the locker room. Palmer brought some of this on himself, resigning with the team. Some argue the team was finally turning things around, but a couple years of success doesn’t mean anything changed. They simply covered things with a band-aid.
Former teammates of Palmer have gone on record stating that Palmer will not be in a Bengals uniform again. Dhani Jones, current free agent linebacker, who has played with Palmer since the 2007 season, recently told the Victor and Matt Show on the 110SportsPodcast.com, “I actually really don’t know what’s going to happen with Carson and Cincinnati. I know that he wants out of there. That’s the decision he’s made. He’ll end up where he ultimately wants to. He’s got the control and he’s ok with that. As a teammate, I respect his decision and choices.”
It is surprising that management will let Palmer walk without putting him on the market and see what trade value he may have. The front office is doing the right thing by not caving into a players demand, but they must think long term. Having Palmer walk away and possibly starting a rookie quarterback hurts only the Bengals. When it’s all said and done, Palmer has probably played his last down in a Cincinnati uniform. Lucky him.
– For the full interview with Dhani Jones listen to Episode 111 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
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110SportsPodcast.com features a weekly sports podcast and daily blogging. Episodes include interviews, entertainment, comedy, insight and analysis.