The Cincinnati Bengals have a dilemma, and this time it doesn't involve one of its wide receivers. Nope, now the Bengals must decide what to do with Carson Palmer, a quarterback whom two sources I trust insist will never, ever, ever play for the team again.
I know what you're thinking, and it's that Chad Ochocinco tried this ploy a few years ago, and it didn't work. But this isn't Chad Ochocinco. This is the face of the franchise and the voice of reason, and Palmer is determined to retire if the Bengals don't accommodate his wishes to be traded, sources said.
That's not exactly news to the Bengals. According to a source close to Palmer, members of the team's coaching staff, including head coach Marvin Lewis, visited with Palmer, and all were told the same thing -- namely, that he is resigned to retiring if the Bengals don't accommodate him, which he doesn't expect they will.
In fact, team owner Mike Brown said as much in late January, suggesting that if Palmer doesn't play in Cincinnati next season he doesn't play, period. But that's the point: Palmer is so fed up with the Bengals that sources tell me he doesn't consider that a threat. In fact, according to them, he's OK with not playing ... so long as it's not playing in Cincinnati.
It is unclear what finished him with the Bengals, with one source saying "it's a number of factors that built up over time," but he's so steadfast in his decision that one head coach at the NFL scouting combine told me he was sure Palmer wouldn't play again for Cincinnati. When I notified him that the Bengals had no intention of dealing him, the coach shook his head and said, "Well, then, he'll retire. He's not going to play there again."