After the second failure of a presser this year by the comedy duo of Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis, I decided to give things a day before posting about it because, frankly, writing about how stupid Mr Brown is just isn’t fun any more. That horse has been beaten beyond the hope of even making glue out of it.
If Carson Palmer didn’t know that yesterday would be the ultimate outcome of his actions, then he is an idiot. We all knew it was coming. For Mike, losing on the field is just business. But losing a contract dispute is personal and will not be tolerated.
What concerns me most about what Mike Brown’s decision on how to handle CP’s ultimatum has nothing to do with CP himself. Most of us have moved on from him and could care less if he plays in 2011 or not, other than what could be gotten by trading him. What I am bothered by is the chilling effect that this hard-line, prison warden approach will have on signing free agents.
For instance, CincyJungle.com reported this morning that the Bengals are interested in Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams. Great move, right? But look at this from Williams’ perspective. “Hey, De! Mike Brown from the Bengals is on the phone. He wants to know if he can own you for the next four years.” With multiple teams calling, how seriously do you think he takes that call?
Under Brown’s stewardship, the Bengals has been the free agent equivalent of a resort town in Siberia. Players who talk to him are generally the ones with no other options. The new CBA will help that some by forcing him to spend most of his cap money. But no quality free agent is going to sign more than a one or maybe two year deal. If you are going to rent your soul to the devil, you want to rent it for as short of a time as possible. (see also: Mathis, Evan.)
And how much more difficult has he made it to re-sign the young guys we are excited about: Atkins, Dunlap, Gresham, Shipley, and if he performs as advertised, AJ Green? After Chad and CP, nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to sign a long-term contract extension with Mike Brown ever again.
Congratulations, Mike Brown. Once again you have won the battle and lost the war.