One unnamed NFL GM tells CBS Sports that head coach Marvin Lewis “knows” that quarterback Carson Palmer won’t play for the Bengals next season.
Essentially, the question is this: Can [Lewis] convince Brown to deal Palmer for draft picks, players or both to get something of value this season? Most people believe he cannot, and that was reiterated by our GM who said he’s certain Cincinnati won’t budge on Palmer because of what it would mean for others.
But he also said that if Palmer is true to his word and retires it might increase his value for 2012, with teams believing that if he has that much of a conviction, is that disciplined, is that true to himself, then he’s exactly the sort of quarterback they’d like as a leader.
“He can still play, and he can still play at a high level,” the GM said.
It’s kind of a moot point to talk about potential trades seeing as how we’re in the middle of a lockout but this Palmer situation won’t die down. Making matters more complex is that if the Bengals were willing to trade him, it would make sense to do so before the draft. But since teams can’t make trades right now, the Bengals are stuck.
It cannot be overstated: the Bengals have a mess on their hands here. Brown doesn’t want to set a precedent for other disgruntled players to follow Palmer and demand trades just because they want out of Cincinnati. But if Palmer follows through and retires, then obviously the best recourse for the Bengals is to trade him in order to get something in return. And if Lewis knows that Palmer doesn’t want to be his quarterback, then I would have to assume that he wants someone else in place who does.
For now, at least the Bengals have plenty of time on their hands to figure out what they want to do with Palmer. Because there doesn’t appear to be a quick resolution to the labor mess.