With rumors floating around the labor talks that a new CBA agreement might not be reached until September, there is really only one team that is in an untenable position as the draft approaches and that is the Cincinnati Bengals.
Forgotten about, thrown in the dustbin and considered an accepted loss, the Cincinnati Bengals are easily the most vilified, downtrodden franchise in the NFL and for good reason. A history of bad management, dubious coaching decisions, and historically terrible draft picks, the Cincinnati Bengals are a team that has been floundering in the bloody waters of the NFL since the loss of its founder Paul Brown in 1991.
Each time it seems that the beleaguered Bengals have found a way out of the hole, some terrible incident comes along and reshuffles the deck on the Bengals, sending them back to the bottom. This time it is their franchise quarterback Carson Palmer.
Having decided enough is enough, Palmer has threatened retirement rather than returning to the helm of the team. Whether he should or shouldn’t retire or retract his demand for a trade is not for me to say. Every man has his limits and if Carson Palmer has reached his, well then good luck to the man. Ownership continues spouting the positives, as it should. “We want him to re-up and we want him back in good spirit and my belief is in time he will come around,” Mike Brown said.
However, with the looming labor crisis in the NFL, and no way for the coaching staff to even communicate with Carson Palmer, the Cincinnati Bengals are left with no options as far as its quarterback situation goes. Backups Jordan Palmer and Dan LeFevour are not starting quarterbacks and yet rumors still abound that the Bengals might actually reach out in the draft and take wide receiver A.J Green from Georgia.
This talk need to end.
It is time for Bengals ownership as well as its coaching staff to step forward and start making decisions that could make or break the future of the Cincinnati Bengals. With no proven quarterback, the Bengals could have the best wide receiver corp in the history of the league and still end up in the cellar with the rebuilding Cleveland Browns.
If Palmer does return, he will never be the dominant force he once was in 2005 and this will more than likely be just a temporary fix as he prepares for a trade in 2012 or the end of his contract in 2014. It is time for the stubbornness of management to end and to reach out into free agency to find an adequate substitute who can teach Cam Newton how to be an NFL quarterback.
Yes I said it, Cam Newton. He will be a superstar, and despite struggling at the NFL combine, Newton has the opportunity to be a dominant quarterback in the NFL. The key will be teaching him how to be one.
Marvin Lewis can be that mentor on the x’s and o’s side as well as in life, as he has proven many times with the multitude of rehab cases the Bengals have invited into the fold. What is missing is an old hand in the trenches to literally show Newton how to be the “man” in the middle of what is easily the most punishing division in the NFL.
The candidates are out there, and if Carson Palmer was not deadly serious about retiring he could be that mentor. But if Palmer does decide to retire, which I believe will be the outcome of the current crisis, the most obvious choice has to be Donovan McNabb.