Some Players Reportedly Feel Like Carson Palmer Wussed Out on the Bengals
Carson Palmer made it clear this offseason that he would never play another game for the Cincinnati Bengals. As early as January he demanded a trade, and a few months later he maintained his position saying he would never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again. Palmer has held to his word and has been tailgating at USC games (and working out on his own) instead of preparing for NFL opponents. That apparently isn’t sitting well with some players around the league.
In his 10-point stance column, Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes:
“There are players around the league ripping Palmer as a chump who was afraid to take on the challenge of sticking with the Bengals and making them good again. Some players are calling him the word that is slang for a cat. They also feel he’s getting a pass from the media.”
I will defend Carson Palmer to death on this point. When the Bengals drafted Carson in 2003, they hadn’t had a winning season since 1990. It was a terrible situation and the franchise had seen highly-drafted quarterback after highly-drafted quarterback come in there and flop. Nevertheless, Palmer embraced the franchise and promised to turn them around. He did. In his second year as the team’s starter, he led them to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance. He made two Pro Bowls, led them to the playoffs twice, and was one of the league’s better starters until an elbow injury ruined his arm strength.
After seven years with the franchise, he finally wanted out. I don’t blame him. The Bengals are a cheap franchise. They have the smallest scouting department in the league, and a penchant for low-balling draft picks. They never fired Marvin Lewis because they were too cheap. They constantly signed ex-cons or other problematic characters, and they have no regard for character when they draft.
Carson Palmer paid his dues. It was time for him to be set free. And this is not an issue of the media giving him a pass; it’s an issue of everyone knowing how awful the Bengals’ franchise is. I don’t wish anyone the misfortune of being drafted by that organization, and I support any player’s desire to leave the team.