Quarterback Carson Palmer continues to say he wants to be free of the Cincinnati Bengals, but it’s clear from the comments of team president Mike Brown that that’s not going to happen any time soon.
Palmer’s agent, David Dunn, repeated his client’s request for a trade on Monday, saying in a statement that a “separation” would be in the “best interests of both parties.” Brown’s response: Palmer isn’t going anywhere.
“He is key to our plans, he’s central to us,” Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He was told that and that we count on him going forward. He was told that we are not in a position to trade him.”
Brown and Palmer met a little over a week ago, when Palmer’s request for a trade was originally made and turned down. Dunn’s statement was a second attempt to get the Bengals to budge, but it’s clear for now that Brown is disinclined to deal his quarterback.
At the suggestion that Palmer, who is 31, might retire rather than play a ninth season for the Bengals, Brown said, “We’ll just have to see how it plays out. We’ll reach out to him and understand the things that are in his craw. Maybe there are things we can do that will appeal to him. We’ll try to and see whether we can get it fit back together again in the future.”
After reaching the playoffs in 2009, Cincinnati fell flat this season, finishing 4-12. Palmer also struggled, tying his career high with 20 interceptions, five of which were returned for touchdowns. He also was occasionally booed and said it affected his family.
While there would certainly be interest from several teams in Palmer, it doesn’t appear the Bengals are open to trading him. With no collective bargaining agreement in place, they couldn’t trade him even if they wanted to.
“The life of a pro quarterback is not always easy,” Brown said. “When you’re down, the criticism will flare up. That’s the nature of our business. We want him to re-up, be in good spirits and in time he’ll come around.”
Or maybe not.