Following the Bengals 09' playoff run, I honestly never believed that the team held the talent to stay consistently on par with other teams in a rugged AFC Division. Although, almost all Cincinnati fans were certain their team was legit.
As most experts predicted, the Bengals fell apart in their 2010 campaign, and disaster struck during the offseason when Carson Palmer started making waves.
The thing- These were not the weak waves you will catch on the Jersey Shore, we are talking some tsunami stuff hitting Cincy. As almost everyone knows, Palmer has made it clear that if he is not traded from the Bengals when he lockout is lifted, he will simply retire. Bold move, Carson. Very bold.
I can hardly blame him. The Bengals organization, as Palmer has already said, has been inconsistent has been hopeless since he has been the starter there. I understand that when a quarterback like Palmer get's a taste of the playoff blood, it's hard to go back to being a bottom feeder in the NFL. Considering that Cincy has had almost no success since Palmer has been starting there, and they have brought little offensive talent in to flank him, I get the frustration.
But come on, Carson! You have a terrible attitude, an even worse season, and you are demanding a trade?
If I was Mike Brown, I'd be laughing at your request too! Sure, there are teams that would be more than happy to have Palmer step in as the starter, despite his bad attitude and lack of success as a starter. But keep in mind, Brown can play hard ball as well. Because Brown is rejecting the idea of trading Palmer, there is no option for the unsettled quarterback but to.. Well, retire.
Brown has out-smarted Palmer in every way. The best part is Brown didn't have to do anything but play the waiting game, because Palmer clearly didn't think this move through and it was based off of instinct and frustration.
If Palmer would have only waited until after the NFL Draft to announce this little trade dilemma, the Bengals and Brown would have no option but to trade him to find a replacement. However, because Palmer made his choice a few months before the draft, that gave Cincy plenty of time to scout a quarterback, and then snag their eventual replacement for the long-term. That Brown did, by taking TCU's Andy Dalton in the second round.
At that point, in the second round, as Dalton was still available, Palmer just punched himself in the face. He realized at that exact moment, he had screwed himself.
Carson. Carson. Carson. Look at the traffic jam you are stuck in now. Because honestly, I was unaware that traffic was that bad in downtown Cincinnati?
The Bengals, and Brown, have come to terms with the fact that the 'Palmer-Era' is done. With the addition of Georgia-Beast wide receiver AJ Green, and Dalton as the new franchise quarterback, the youth revolution has already begun.
Then with the sudden leadership spark from Cedric Benson, the Bengals' offensive squad is coming together. The best part- Palmer is still crying in the corner, trying to sell his house, and all this is going on during the lockout.
I have no doubt in my mind that Cincy is better off without Palmer, and they need to prove a point. Brown has said time and time again that he is not going to be trading Palmer anytime soon, which means he will retire and the Bengals are actually better off. Without even realizing it, Brown and Palmer both have managed to better the Bengals organization, in ways that no one could have predicted at the end of last season.
Some people will point to the fact that Cincy could probably get a second round pick, maybe even more, for Palmer if they were to trade him to a quarterback needy team. But Brown seems like the type of dude who sticks to his guns, and he will let Palmer retire. Even though a trade would be easily found, and he could get some return for his disgruntled hero, Brown isn't going to do it.
Because of the drama and the trouble that Palmer caused, Brown is going to let him ruin his career.
So Cincinnati, be sure to send Palmer a thank you letter at his new house in Florida. Because after all, that's where retired players with no work end up.
Be sure to follow Beard and Stache on Twitter @BeardAndStache, and also Troy @TroyBallards, Like our Facebook page HERE!