Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What if Carson Palmer Comes Back to the Bengals Before The Season Starts?

The stalemate is still in place between Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals owner, Mike Brown.  However, things could change in a dramatic fashion very soon.

When last we visited this issue, nothing had changed since an off-season meeting where Palmer walked away saying he wanted the Bengals to trade/release him, or he would retire.

Brown is currently playing Palmer's (supposed) bluff, and has wished him a happy retirement.  The Bengals drafted Andy Dalton in the second round and, so far, look to be pushing him into starting in his rookie season Week One.

However, Palmer hasn't retired yet.  Not that he necessarily needs to.  Retirement is basically to set in motion his NFL benefits, but since he has all those millions saved, benefits aren't as big of a concern for the likes of him.

There are reports that say that Palmer's off-season throwing program was the same this year as in year's past, but no one has any absolute proof.

Since Palmer hasn't retired and is still listed on the Bengals roster, the team has placed him on the reserve/did not report list.  That actually means that Palmer is subject to daily $30,000 fines for not showing up to camp. It also means that currently the Bengals don't have to count his projected $11.5 million salary toward the cap.

However, Palmer could show up at any point.  What if he were to report the day after the last pre-season game and actually look good?  What would that do to Andy Dalton? Would the Bengals keep Palmer on at that point? Would they broker a trade with Miami or Seattle?

$11.5 million is a lot to add to a cap at the last minute, although the Bengals currently have a lot of cap space.  Their estimated cap figure right now is $93.2 million, roughly $20 million under the league average, and third lowest in the NFL.

Would Brown continue his role as cheap owner and trade Palmer at that point? Or would he force the coaches to sit him on the bench for the entire season and anger the fan base even further?  I could see either possibility happening.

This story just does not seem to be over yet. Stay tuned!

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