Andy Dalton pictured here metaphorically taking the football
from Cincy's departing Red Headed Gunslinger.
We're all familiar with the QB situation in Cincinnati, with Carson "Sack-riding my Heisman until the shine comes off" Palmer basically throwing in the towel and saying he'd rather retire than spend another year in the Mistake By the Lake, or whatever body of water in Ohio Cincinnati was mistakenly created near. The wrench in the whole equation, though, is that Cincy and stubborn owner Mike Brown appear to be calling his bluff, denying his requests to be traded or released and seeing if he will really go through with his threats. And, with the caveat that you completely disregard the source, it looks like Palmer is making good on his bitching.
Truthfully, I think the Bengals were pretty well prepared for this; why else would they have used such a valuable pick on Andy Dalton? And now that Palmer has officially sold his house in suburbia - even taking a loss just to put a fine point on how eager his to get the F out of dodge - the Bengals front office is looking pretty competent for perhaps the first time in their lack luster history.
This is pretty great for a multitude of reasons, aside from the obvious, "Dalton's only competition quit the team" angle. For one, assuming the lockout lifts in the coming weeks, the team can move forward with breaking in a new QB. Dalton has already worked out a little with the team, albeit only in those of the unorganized sort, so it's extremely important that he begin learning OC Jay Gruden's system ASAP. With Palmer out of the picture, the coaching staff can zero in on Andy - who, let's not lie to ourselves, is inevitably going to win the job over Palmer, Jr. - and build an offense to suit his strengths as well as one that he can acclimate himself to as quickly as possible. There are apparently already plans in place for the latter half of that as the staff will get to work on initially shrinking the playbook for Dalton as soon as the lockout goes away. Detractors will suggest that it's because Andy has a limited skill set and therefore needs a dumbed down playbook in order to succeed, but anyone with half a brain would understand how unique of a situation this draft class is in as far as the learning curve and that even the most NFL ready QB in the world would have a tough time grasping an entirely new system in half the time. Just wait for the hilarity that will ensure once Carolina fully grasps that Cam Newton's plays at Auburn were SERIOUSLY numbered "one," "two," three," etc. Have fun with that, new OC trying to turn around a disastrous franchise.
And with Palmer backing up his talk, hopefully Mike Brown will realize that he has proved his point and ship him to Minnesota, Seattle, San Francisco - heck, I'd take him over Romo, but only because I just don't like the guy - for some help in other areas of need, of which there are many. Maybe pry away a capable receiver as it looks like the TO-Ocho is coming to an end. I don't know, I'm not a GM. But while I respect Mike Brown sticking to his guns and making Palmer make an ass of himself, I think he's got to get SOMETHING for him, no? It will be interesting to see that situation play out.
An anecdotal side note that is at least partially related: A few weeks ago I was at a playoff game for your World Champion Dallas Mavericks and noticed a bright, red spot in my periphery as I was heading up the stairs at halftime. Lo and behold it was one Andy Dalton - Dalton at a Mavs game? Take THAT, Houston - so naturally I pestered him for menial conversation and a photo op. Somewhere in the back of my margarita enhanced mind, I knew I wanted to ask him about the situation with Carson and get his superficial take, but all I could come up with was, "So Carson Palmer... Fuck that guy, huh?" Being the gentleman that he was, Dalton more or less ignored the comment, but I could sense that, deep down, we were on the same wavelength. So based on that one completely random and meaningless encounter/body language assessment, I think it's safe to assume that Palmer's failings in the residential real estate market will help AD sleep better at night.
Of course, none of this really matters as no moves can occur until the lockout is lifted, so just consider it food for thought to tide you over until the situation can be resolved. Or at least until NCAA Football 2012 comes out in two weeks. Giddy!