Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Bengals Have to Trade Carson Palmer

Yesterday I wrote that the St. Louis Cardinals should do everything in their power to keep their franchise player Albert Pujols.  Franchise players don't come around everyday and having them and keeping them happy should be priority #1 for all sports franchises.  Unless of course your franchise player is an overrated has-been that has publicly belittled your franchise and has said that he would rather retire than continue playing for you.

In this particular instance I am speaking of the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals Carson Palmer.

Back in January Palmer told the Bengals that if they did not trade him to another team he would retire from professional football.  Ever since little tidbits of news, such as the fact that Palmer put his Cincinnati house up for sale, have been surfacing regularly.

The report that surfaced today was from an interview Palmer did with Cincinnati television station WCPO in which Palmer stated, "I will never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again" and ""I have $80 million in the bank. I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life."

As I said previously I don't normally advocate trading a franchise player but in this case it needs to be done. Obviously Palmer has no interest in playing for the Bengals anymore and simply letting him retire without getting anything in return for him would be a foolish decision from a business perspective so what choice do they have?

The Bengals could simply try and call his bluff and let him walk away from the game but that would be an embarrassing scenario for the team and would severely hurt their public image.  Or they could be cutthroat about the whole thing and just release Palmer and say in a public press conference, 'if he doesn't want to be here then we don't want him here.  Great players have worn the Bengal uniform with pride and clearly Carson wasn't one of them.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.' 

How could fans not appreciate that kind of statement?  If anything they would respect it because its the truth. Carson Palmer has quit on this football team and he needs to be called out for it.  If you want to quit because you can't win then quit but don't try and hold the team hostage with some sort of ridiculous public ultimatum. If he really wanted to be traded so badly he should have told the team privately to shop him around the league because by making everything so public he has absolutely murdered his trade value.

There is however one other way to look at this whole situation, the Sports Informer way.  I think the Bengals may have caught a break here.  Now they can finally cut ties with a player that never quite lived up to his potential and can blame it on the player than admitting to failing as a franchise.  They can move Palmer for a draft pick and then can go into next season with back up Dan LeFevour as the starter or draft somebody in the upcoming draft in April.

Either way its a good thing because they were going nowhere with Carson Palmer and were never going to win a SuperBowl with him as their quarterback. He claimed that one of the main reasons he wants out is because he is tired of the inconsistency of the franchise and their inability to win year after year.  Maybe he should look at himself before he starts pointing the finger elsewhere because if anything he cost the Bengals more games then he won them last year.

Here is a guy that had a plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal last season. He had Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley and Cedric Benson and yet he only managed to throw 26 touchdowns.  Meanwhile Peyton Manning threw for 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns all the while throwing the ball to guys the Colts pulled off the street.  Give Manning the same weapons Palmer had and he may have broken every single season passing record there is.

The biggest problem with Palmer though is his horrible decision making.  Last year he threw 20 interceptions but I can tell you for a fact that he had at least 10+ passes that hit defenders square in the hands and were just dropped.  He forces throws and never looks off defenders often staring straight at his intended target the entire play waiting for a window to force the ball through.

Simply put Carson Palmer is not an elite NFL quarterback.  In 2010 he didn't finish in the top 5 in terms of touchdowns, yards, completion percentage or quarterback rating.  In fact his 61.8 completion percentage was 13th amongst all quarterbacks tying him with none other then Shaun Hill and his quarterback rating of 82.4 sandwiched him at 19th in between two superstars in Jason Campbell and Kerry Collins.

When he was selected 1st overall in 2003 the Bengals thought Carson Palmer was the answer to their perpetual losing woes but clearly they were wrong.  Palmer just wasn't the right fit for the team and now he wants out and I think the Bengals need to make that happen.  You cannot allow a player to rip your franchise and publicly demand a trade and then hope to bring him back to play the most important position on the team.

So really the Bengals have no choice.  They need to trade his ass ASAP.

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