Showdown in Cincinnati: Carson Palmer and Cincinnati Bengals Owner Mike Brown Square Off, Who Will Blink First

The NFL is full of egotistical owners that were leaders in their respected industries before buying their teams. Because they were the deal-makers of the boardrooms these guys think they can also succeed as deal-makers on the gridiron. Wall Street business acumen doesn’t translate to the NFL thou…does it? We have seen time after time business sense doesn’t make football sense (See: Snyder v. Haynesworth 2010). This has never become more evident than the situation this week in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown got his ego, team and money the old fashion was…he inherited it. It seems Mike Brown is a graduate of the Jerry Jones school of ownership and doesn’t know when to take a step back and let his coaches and managers handle the players. Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Carson Palmer has stated he will retire before playing for The Cincinnati Bengals another year. Palmer has gone as far as selling his house in Cincinnati. Instead of getting something for Palmer in trade Mike Brown issued this statement yesterday.

““I honesty like Carson Palmer,” Brown said during Tuesday’s pre-training camp luncheon. “He was a splendid player for us. He is a good person. I wish him well and he has retired. That is his choice.” Carson signed a contract, he made a commitment,”

Brown said. “He gave us his word and we relied on his word and his commitment. We expected him to perform here. If he is going to walk away from his commitment, we aren’t going to reward him for doing it.”

What Brown’s Dartmouth Degree didn’t teach him is there is a human factor in this deal. You are dealing with a person not an emotionless widget. Mike Brown played his best card buy not trading or releasing Carson Palmer. The problem for Brown is Carson Palmer is holding two trump cards.

Palmer’s cap value this upcoming season is $11.5 million. Palmer has not put in his papers yet. Carson can hold out up to week 10 when he would still be able to get his season of credited service. Then Mike Brown would not be able to use Carson Palmer’s $11.5 million to sign players for the 2011 season. When Carson does show up in week 10, he could be a slight distraction

Trump card number two which is more likely. Carson could retire and ask to be reinstated in March 2012. This would push The Bengals 2012 salary cap over the limit forcing them to release him for the 2012 season.
Either way Carson will play football again just not in Cincinnati. It all depends on who blinks first.