Brown denies Palmer talk, but what did you expect?

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown today reiterated his previous stance to’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’.


  1. Gopher

    I’m all for bringing in Palmer but I really hope we don’t have to pay the brunt of that gargantuan contract he received when he was considered a top 3 QB. Maybe we can cut Aaron Curry and re-sign him to the league minimum? That would free up a huge amount of money.

    • Rob

      Contract re-working won’t be a problem I believe.

  2. woofu

    Unless Brown has been forced into doing something like this before the assumption lies with those thinking he will go against his ways.

    • Rob

      I’m reporting sources. The assumption comes from those who judge this situation based on past events. That doesn’t make either side correct per se, but none of my arguments and reports have been based on assumption.

      • woofu

        Was’nt aimed at you.

  3. Cliff

    I have a question about Ryan Tannehill. If he has a good year do you see him as a round one prospect or more of a second rounder?

    • Rob

      I think it’s ambitious to expect that kind of grade. If he was a legitimate first or second round prospect, he wouldn’t have been playing receiver and special teams for Texas A&M. They gave him a shot when Johnson was struggling and it’s worked out, but he’s still a long way from being considered a quarterback who you could realistically place any draft stock. He has a season in 2011 to change that perception.

  4. Kip Earlywine

    Cris Collinsworth recently outlined a scenario for the end of the Lockout which I find very believable. In it, the lockout would extend all the way to 9/11/11, opening day, which would cause outrage. The NFL would finally get its stuff together right after that, but even then, you are looking at Free agency in late September and game 1 in late October. Or to put it another way, you’d have free agency starting pretty much the same day your team begins its preseason. And you’d only have really a couple days to complete free agency to get your team assembled in time.

    Which is a total nightmare under normal circumstances, but infinitely worse when dealing with someone like Mike Brown, who might crack under pressure from his FO over a period of many months… but in a few days? I doubt it.

    Which would be a damn shame since it would be as much of a missed opportunity for Cincy as it would be for us. I know if I was a Bengals fan, I’d be furious if we lost Palmer for NOTHING only because the owner has a character flaw.

  5. Trenchtown

    I expected Brown to tell the world how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if the eighth circuit decides to affirm the preliminary injunction.

    • Charlie

      ray lewis is awesome

  6. Misfit74

    F*&k Mike Brown, I say.


  7. northpacific

    Mike Brown didn’t say “we will never #$%!! trade Palmer. He said “we don’t plan to trade Palmer.” About as gentle a denial as might be likely, under the circumstances. Still an open question.

  8. RandomUse

    The problem with Mike Brown saying theses comments and then later backtracking is that it would set a precedent for future occurrences. He may loose the draft picks now by not trading Palmer, but he would loose potentially much more in the future with other players trying to force their way out.

    And believe me, they are the Bengals, it will happen again.

    Besides all of that, do we really want a player who is just as happy to retire NOW? How much of his heart is still in the game of football? If I had a choice between a half-hearted-Carson and an older but fiercely loyal Hasselbeck, I would prefer the latter.


      That is something that has been sticking in the back of my mind as well. I would love to get Palmer under normal circumstances, but if he is that willing to retire, I’m not sure that the fire is still burning. If I were the FO, I’d want to have a serious conversation with Carson before I gave anything up for him. The worst case scenario would be giving up draft picks, having Carson play a so-so season for the Hawks and win just enough games to keep us out of the Luck/Barkley range, and then have Carson decide to really retire in 2012. Ugh.

      • Rob

        I think it says more about Palmer’s desire to leave the Bengals/Cincinnati rather than his desire to continue playing.

  9. Craig

    Another great article, absolutely no reason for him to back down now. Nothing to gain, draft stock to lose.

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