Even though there’s no official football with the lockout in effect, the Carson Palmer saga continues to make news. Today, Marvin Lewis said that Palmer remains the starting quarterback when he returns. And Cedric Benson reportedly tweeted that Palmer could be a detriment if he returns and he’s not into it.
While that might be true for some, I think Palmer is a special case. Palmer is professional enough and sufficiently competitive that he would give the Bengals an honest effort. And I think Carson at about 80-percent “into it,” is still better than the untested alternatives.
Furthermore, someone in the organization should be able to sell him on the one-year plan. Palmer can treat this year as an audition for every other NFL team. They can tell him that the divas that drove him nuts will be gone on this year’s team. And the team will still pay him about $11 million in salary.
Taken together, those factors should convince Palmer to play and play well. And if they don’t, well, he’ll have to sit out.
I see no point in caving into player demands, especially if it hurts the team in the process.
Palmer should play. At least for one more season.