I have vacillated back and forth between whether Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown should set former QB Carson Palmer free.
At first, I stated that Palmer should be set free. Then around training camp I sided with Brown for standing his ground and not caving in to another disgruntled player. “You cannot let the inmates run the asylum” I wrote at that time.
In short, I was the John Kerry of the sports blogging world (a world-class flip-flopper).
However, the trade Brown made with the Oakland Raiders was stunning – in the sense that Brown finally backed off of his stubborn tendencies. It was a trade great for the Bengals (a #1 pick in 2012 and a conditional #2 pick in 2013). I think that offer would have made ANYONE back off any stance he previously had.
For once, Brown came off as a winner in a trade. Now, if he doesn’t do something to screw it all up, the Bengals should be set in cultivating young talent for at least the next two seasons. Their young talent is already producing on the field (a surprising 4-2 record), led by the solid, steady play of rookie QB Andy Dalton and rookie WR A.J. Brown.
While the Bengals came out on the winning end, the trade also helps the Raiders. Let’s face it, the Raiders have playoff aspirations this season, and they knew they weren’t going to get there with Kyle Boller (or as Skip Bayless calls him “Kyle ‘I Should Have Been a’ Boller”) at quarterback. Palmer is an instant upgrade over Boller because, well, Boller sucks (ask the Baltimore Ravens if they miss him).
This is one of the rare “win-win” trade scenarios. The Raiders get an upgrade in QB while the Bengals rake in high draft picks by unloading a malcontent.
I rarely say this, but Brown and the Bengals did the right thing.