Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals, Carson Palmer Need to Part Ways

Carson Palmer doesn't want to play for the Cincinnati Bengals. Not just in 2011, he means never again.

For the better part of the last few months we've heard all the reports about Palmer threatening to retire if the Bengals don't trade him. Unlike most players who back off those demands when enough money is thrown their way or they change one thing or the other, Palmer has done just the opposite.

In fact, he reiterated his retirement threat to head coach Marvin Lewis.

He doesn't want to play in Cincinnati, he doesn't want to wear a Bengal uniform. To him, his days playing for the team are done and he's fine riding off into the sunset because he's made it clear he has enough money saved up to support his family for the rest of his life and possibly theirs.

Palmer has played with the kind of players that have gotten run out of other football towns like Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco and another teammate who still can't decide what his last name really is.

CBS Sports columnist, Gregg Doyel, a guy I respect and enjoy reading, took exception to Palmer's threats saying he was playing this like a "take his ball and go home" type of situation. What I found interesting was the fact Doyel mentioned the word 'legacy.'

While Palmer does have a Heisman trophy as a quarterback at USC, as far as the NFL is concerned there really isn't a legacy to speak of.

He doesn't have a Super Bowl title nor does he have a single playoff victory. Otherwise known as one win shy of another Tony Romo.

There's no question Palmer wants to continue to play in the NFL, the game that has allowed him to make a living playing a game, he just doesn't want to do so in Cincinnati.

You can respect his decision or hate him for it but the truth of the matter is the two sides need to part ways. We all know this is going to become a battle of "who blinks first" but the Bengals don't have to make a decision at all if a new collective bagaining agreement isn't signed by the players and owners.

For now, Palmer will continue to give small quotes to friends and even his real estate agents so they can leak little tidbits here and there as "anonymous sources" to different media outlets. He doesn't need to come out and say anything at all to a camera, a reporter, or anyone else for that matter.

He's made his demands known and the Bengals are well aware of where he stands.

The only thing left to do is for Cincinnati to find a deal that will make both sides happy. The Bengals get the players they want and need in return and Palmer gets shipped out of town and continues to play football.

However, it seems the only way this is going to end is with the retirement of a 31-year old quarterback, a front office staff bragging about how they stood strong, and telling anyone who will listen, "we showed him."

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

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