Carson Palmer says he’ll retire rather than play for the Bengals. There’s just one problem with that…
Ok, there are a number of problems with that.
Let’s start with the fact that Carson plainly doesn’t see the glacial improvement the team has made. The Bengals are now proud to say that they regularly strive for mediocrity.
Not to mention that by acting like some petulant child, Carson is giving other “upstanding” members of the organization like Cedric Benson and Adam Jones a bad name.
None of that, however, gives Carson a free pass. He knew the history of the franchise. He knew team owner Mike Brown. He pledged to stick with the Bengals through 2014 anyway.
So the fans angry at Carson aren’t demanding he chain himself to the goalpost like some environmentalist trying to save an old growth forest. They just want him to do what he said he’d do: commit to the team and his teammates for the duration of his contract.
That he’s leaving teammates in a lurch is an important point. Even if NFL owners routinely tear up contracts and refuse to honor deals, that’s no excuse for Carson. He’s leaving behind wide receivers who have laid out to catch passes for him. He’s saying goodbye to offensive linemen who have bloodied themselves blocking for him. He’s parting ways with tight ends who have thrown themselves into an oncoming tide of opponents for him.
Also, Palmer was outwardly praising the Bengals. So unless he was working to shape things behind the scenes, it wasn’t until this last dramatic, foot-stomping stand that he attempted to change the organization he apparently despises playing for so much.
No, he wasn’t in charge of personnel decisions or play-calling, but he was a quarterback. He was supposed to be a leader. He could have played a role in creating a new culture in Cincinnati. Instead, he’s just walking away.
And that brings us to the biggest problem with Carson retiring: The sad fact of the matter is that it would still take 52 other players threatening to do the same thing for owner Mike Brown to even start to consider a new way of doing business.