Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown today reiterated his previous stance to NFL.com’s Albert Breer that Carson Palmer will not be traded.
“We don’t plan to trade Carson. He’s important to us. He’s a very fine player, and we do want him to come back. If he chooses not to, he’d retire. And we would go with Andy Dalton, the younger player we drafted, who’s a good prospect. Ideally, we’d have both of them. That’d be the best way to go forward. If we don’t have Carson, we’ll go with Andy.”
This goes against what we have been discussing on this blog and has been talked about elsewhere too. Some have used the Mike Brown ‘never back down’ angle as proof that such a deal won’t happen. It’s a legitimate point, but also one based purely on assumption.
The NFL lockout is still a long way from being resolved and there’s very little light at the end of that particular tunnel. Until a new CBA is signed or at least the new league season opened under 2010 rules, no trades or free agent movement can take place. What benefit would Brown get from discussing a Carson Palmer trade today? He has used the ‘no deal’ approach from day one, stating in January that a trade wouldn’t take place. While I appreciate that may eventually prove to be the case, it makes no sense to change tact and open up a can of worms while the league is still mired in litigation.
Does he really want the media circus that would come with revealing a huge piece of news today, particularly considering non-litigation news is at a major premium in the NFL right now?
We’ve previously reported that a 5th round pick and a conditional third would be the price range for such a trade. If Brown has any hope of perhaps improving that bounty, does adjusting his determined stance achieve anything but weakened leverage?
The Bengals have well and truly moved on and their now former starting quarterback will move to the Pacific North West as a Seahawk or as a retired NFL veteran, so the talk of Palmer returning that we see today means very little. The drafting of Andy Dalton afforded the Bengals to commit to a new direction. While many think Brown will be stubborn enough to see this one through, as I mentioned last week this may not be a ‘battle lines drawn’ situation like some think even if it comes across that way in the media.
Mike Brown has made this statement several times and it makes little sense to say anything else until the league is finally open for business. Some people will believe today’s comments to be the absolute truth, but don’t rule out the very distinct possibility that this was nothing more than a colorful ‘no comment’ or ‘nothing to see here’.