Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Carson Palmer made a very simple point to the organization: trade me or I quit.
Head coach Marvin Lewis didn't seem to take Palmer at his word. The Bengals appear to believe that if they make the right changes that Palmer would stay.
The first change was hiring Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator. Gruden, most recently the coach of the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League, spent seven years as an assistant to his older brother Jon with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including the 2002 season Super Bowl championship team.
Said Lewis about Gruden: I'll speak with Carson about (the hiring). ... This brings him back to an offensive system that he was a used to, a little bit more, at USC. ... Once everything comes together for him, I think it's a done issue. This is professional sports and athletics. Sometimes things happen but they aren't necessarily the way they end up being. People move forward. I think it'd be very easy for him to move forward, from our standpoint.
In a conference call, Gruden described Palmer as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. And should Palmer return, we're going to make everything right for him, and give him every avenue to succeed.
Gruden also said that we're going to move forward with him as our quarterback.
Apparently those moves and those words had little effect.
Recent reports show that Palmer is selling his five-bedroom home in Ohio.
Palmer was always serious, and now the Bengals need to get serious about dealing him. Cincinnati would be foolish to let Palmer retire without some type of compensation.
Fortunately, there are always suitors for a quarterback who hasn't passed his prime.
Plenty of teams are interested in a quarterback. They include San Francisco, Arizona, Seattle, Washington, Minnesota, Miami, and Buffalo. Some teams already have a quarterback, but might consider an upgrade in Palmer over their current quarterback, such as Chicago with Jay Cutler.
A move is not imminent, though. The Bengals can't trade Palmer until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between the NFL and the players' union.
Palmer has $50 million remaining on his contract.