Bengals can move on without Palmer

CINCINNATI (AP) - By trading their franchise quarterback, the Cincinnati Bengals can finally move on.

The Bengals ended nine months of uncertainty Tuesday when they dealt Carson Palmer to Oakland for a pair of draft picks. Palmer told the Bengals in January that he wouldn’t play for them again and he wanted a trade, something that owner Mike Brown had adamantly refused.

Shortly before the trading deadline, Brown did an about-face and traded Palmer for first-round and second-round picks, a better deal than they’d expected for the 31-year-old quarterback. Coach Marvin Lewis indicated he would have preferred trading Palmer earlier, but Brown wasn’t ready until the Raiders’ offer came along.

“My boss is a very patient man,” Lewis said. “Don’t want to play poker with him, do you?”

The Bengals can move ahead without having to account for Palmer in the budget. They had to set aside money to account for his salary should he change his mind and show up to play. Palmer had a base salary of $11.5 million this season, with three more years left on his deal.

Instead of saving budget space, the Bengals can try to extend deals with other current players.

“Now we open up some other doors,” Lewis said. “There has been a lot written about, oh, you guys have this much (salary) cap space, but we had to have that space stay in there because if Carson were to walk in here, we had to be able to handle that.”

The deal had little impact on his former teammates, who knew he wasn’t coming back when he told the team in January that he would retire rather than play another season in Cincinnati. The Bengals have only two winning records in the last 20 years.

The message board by the entrance to the Bengals‘ locker room Tuesday had an anonymous scrawled message: “Let My People Goooooo!” Otherwise, there wasn’t much reaction.

“I don’t think even one player in this locker room’s even thought about that,” left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “We haven’t worried about it. We’ve gone forward with the guys we have and tried to play as good as we can and that’s all we can do.”

Palmer’s former teammates were glad that he finally received his wish. Palmer was the first overall pick in 2003 and led Cincinnati to those two winning seasons, only to have his career interrupted by knee and elbow injuries.

“Kudos to Carson,” offensive lineman Bobbie Williams said. “Just good luck to everybody. I don’t know about the details, but whatever it is, I’m pretty sure we got what we wanted, he got what he wanted and we’ll go from there.

“I’m happy with where we’re at. I hope he’s happy with where he’s at. Good luck to him. I mean, who knows?”

Williams smiled at the possibility of facing Palmer’s Raiders in the playoffs.

“You never know,” he said.

Backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, a former Raider, said Palmer fits Oakland’s offensive style.

“It’s going to be a good situation,” Gradkowski said. “The organization is going in the right direction out there, and it’s good for Carson to get back and playing some football. They definitely have some talent, and those receivers can run. We’re not too focused on that around here.”

Lewis said that rookie quarterback Andy Dalton’s solid play in the first six games made Brown more comfortable with trading Palmer. Dalton said on Tuesday that he never felt like his performance would figure in what happened with Palmer.

“I knew coming in here that he wasn’t going to be here and that the job was going to be open,” Dalton said. “It’s nothing that I’ve worried about.”

Palmer’s former teammates said they hold no grudges.

“I think guys respect him,” Whitworth said. “You realize that he didn’t want to be here and he didn’t believe in this place, and you go forward. You still respect him as a friend and the years we put in together, but you realize that he just made a choice he felt was best for him and his family.”

Lewis appreciated the way Palmer pressed his case for a trade behind the scenes, avoiding media interviews and public posturing.

“I think Carson has handled this like the man he is,” Lewis said, “and that’s been great.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) looks to pass in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Washington. The Wizards won 114-93. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Wizards’ Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr. hoping for big splash on small stage

  • Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is surrounded by fans that rushed the field and security as he is escorted off the field following their 45-38 win over Oklahoma in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    SNYDER: RG3 worth his weight in bronze to Baylor

  • Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (13), celebrates his two-run homer with Adam Jones left, with Nick Markakis, at right, during the 11th inning of an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. The Orioles won 8-2, in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Accidental rivalry: Nats-Orioles doesn’t have much edge

  • Celebrities In The News
  • (Image from DeAngelo Williams' Facebook post)

    NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket

  • ** FILE ** In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo actor George Clooney attends the premiere of "Gravity" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theaters, in New York. George Clooney has chastised a British newspaper over an article claiming his fiancee's mother disapproves of the impending marriage for religious reasons. Clooney said that the claims about his future mother-in-law Baria Alamuddin were untrue and irresponsible. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

    Website apologizes for Clooney mother-in-law story

  • Kim Kardashian arrives at the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2014 Upfront at the Javits Center on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Kim Kardashian visits Jersey shore