The Cincinnati Bengals insist they won’t give in and trade disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer. Owner Mike Brown’s history supports this claim (Brown has refused to trade Chad Ochocinco and he held onto malcontent running back Corey Dillon for several years).
But read between the lines and you might see a different outlook.
First off, thebelief around the league is that Palmer’s threat to retire if untraded is not an empty one. The Southern California native has two young kids, tens of millions in the bank and a wife who doesn’t like the Cincinnati area. The Bengals know this.
More directly, look at the recent behavior of Cincy’s coaching staff. We wrote in a post about Cedric Benson’s likely return that new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden casually referred to Benson as someone who could carry the ball “20 to 25 times a game if we need to if we have the young quarterback.” When Gruden mentions a “young quarterback”, he’s not referring to the 31-year-old Palmer.
|Bengals and quarterbacks|
On Tuesday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis attended Auburn’s pro day workout. The Bengals currently hold the fourth overall pick in the draft. Auburn only has two early round draft prospects this year: defensive Nick Fairley and, of course, quarterback Cam Newton.
It’s possible Lewis was there to see Fairley (though the Bengals don’t figure to be in the market for a defensive tackle). It’s also possible that Lewis just happened to be in the area (other southern schools have pro days this week). It’s possible he was there for smoke screening purposes (never hurts to have teams drafting below you think that you might surprise them with your selection).
Or it’s possible that the Bengals are listening to all those who continue to whisper about Palmer actually making good on his threat to retire.
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