Posted by hobsonschoice1 on March 10, 2011 – 2:05 pm


The Carson Palmer Question is a lot like the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.


And no one seems to be going on the record, but anonymous sources keep driving the story.

Now that a lockout is looming in less than 30 hours, there are stories every 30 minutes because the deadline is getting crunched again. Deadlines in the NFL are crash dummies.

The CP Question isn’t as urgent with the CBA crisis freezing offseason workouts and trade talk. Once the Bengals get a report date for workouts, it will bubble again. The opening of the trading period, the start of May camp, the start of June camp, the start of training camp – if they exist this season – would also ignite an onslaught of No. 9 headlines.

But right now the CP Question seems to be about 2.5 stories per week. The story hasn’t moved much, except everybody and anybody without a name is saying Palmer is going to retire if the Bengals don’t trade him. Even though two weeks ago at the NFL scouting combine the Bengals said they believe him and are planning like he’s not going to be here this season, the stories keep coming as if the team needs convincing.

But the Bengals have offered all sorts of evidence they are headed that way. Reports have had the Bengals at the campus workouts of Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett and reported the Bengals are one of eight teams that are going to work out Newton privately.

And since the Bengals haven’t backed off the Jan. 24 Mobile Doctrine about not trading Palmer, it is what it is. That would mean if teams are calling now to say they’re interested, the Bengals would say, “No, thanks. If Palmer plays in 2011, it will be for us.”


But the Palmer Question not only mirrors the inertia of the CBA talks, it hinges on the talks. Even if they wanted, the Bengals can’t trade him. Not only that, they can’t bring in another quarterback to get him ready until the CBA is resolved.

The union wants to open all the books. The owners want to open some of the books. Palmer wants to close the book. And while the Bengals would like to keep Palmer at Paul Brown Publishing, that book doesn’t appear to have an ending yet.


In book stores today until…

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