Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer Has No Fear of Retirement

Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals are playing a game of chicken, both sides trying to figure each other out, hoping one will blink before the other.

However, what the Bengals haven't seem to realize is the fact that their long time quarterback hasn't just made an idle threat of retirement but more of a promise. He wants out of Cincinnati or he'll call his career 'over' and head into the next phase of his life--retirement.
Through seven seasons with the Bengals, the former USC standout has played in 97 games, thrown for 22,694 yards, 154 touchdowns and a 62.9 career completion percentage. Maybe not the Hall of Fame career Palmer might have thought about when he came out of college but in an article from ESPN's James Walker, the Bengals' quarterback says he's just fine moving on.

"I have $80 million in the bank. I don't have to play football for money," Palmer said. "I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life."

That statement alone should be enough for Cincinnati's front office to realize that Palmer is serious about being ok not playing football again. If they are taking him seriously and they know full well that he's not going to put on the Bengals' uniform again, why haven't they made a move to trade him out of town?

Those in NFL circles will tell you the Bengals are trying to wait it out to see what Palmer will do when the season starts closing in and players start reporting to camp. At that point, if he still hasn't come off his demands and still has full intentions of retiring, than maybe we might see a deal made.

As of right now, there's no reason the Bengals need to do anything at all mostly because of the reason that there may not even be an NFL season in 2011. The collective bargaining agreement has yet to be signed and both the owners and players have until Friday to either get the deal done or the lockout begins.

There are bigger things to worry about at the moment and this is not one of them. At least not right now.

If Cincinnati makes their quarterback available, there will be no shortage of teams out there that will make their interest known. While Palmer will want a starting role I wouldn't be surprised if he were ok with a backup role on a team that has a legit shot at a Super Bowl.

For now, Palmer is going to begin what he believes will be the next chapter of his life. His demands haven't been met yet and it doesn't look like they will be anytime soon.

There's no doubt that his time in Cincinnati has come to an end and it's time for the two sides to separate. The Bengals don't want drama leading into the season and they don't want to continue to answer questions from the media on if their quarterback is going to report to camp.

It seems obvious at this point that the answer is already known.

Where Carson Palmer goes from here is anyone's guess. There's no question that he wants to continue to play the game of football but not for the Cincinnati Bengals. If they force his retirement, it wouldn't surprise me to see him turn up as a coach somewhere either in the college ranks or in the NFL.

As a USC alum, don't be surprised if the Trojans call him to gauge his interest in having some form of involvement in the football program.

This only ends badly for the team, not the player. They're the one that forced his retirement because they know full well he has no issue with riding off into the sunset.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter

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