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Can you really blame Palmer?

Carson Palmer has said, through sources, that if he isn't traded from the Bengals this offseason, he will retire.  Now, Cincinnati fans are blistering social media attacking Palmer, blaming him for the Bengals 4-12 2010 season.  Although the quarterback is a major part of the game, I don't remember Palmer playing on the defense that dropped off massively from the 2009 season.  If anything, the failing defense had much more impact on the dreary record.

The defense frequently put the Bengals into large deficits early, and put unneeded pressure on the offense to come back.  A fourth-ranked defense in 2009 turned into a 15th ranked defense in 2010, allowing 24.7 points per game to keep the offense behind.

Now that isn't to say that Palmer is completely clean of fault for 2010.  Even though he hasn't been the same since the 2005 knee injury and his elbow troubles, 2010 was an especially rough year for the quarterback.  But Palmer is still a good quarterback.  He'll never be an elite quarterback or a hall of famer, but he can still get the job done with a solid running game behind him.

With any organization, including the Bengals, the success (or failure) comes from the top down.  Without a winning attitude at the management level, Cincinnati will never have a chance to go to the Super Bowl.

It's about time Palmer put his foot down and made some demands.  He's tired of playing with guys fresh out of prison and divas, and he's tired of playing for an organization not set on winning.

Some people have questioned whether Palmer will follow through with the retirement.  Bengals owner Mike Brown has already said he will not trade him, and he isn't one to give in.  People seem baffled that any person would turn down a remaining contract worth $50 million.  Palmer isn't Chad Ochocinco.  He is a reasonable person who doesn't spend extravagantly and has lived a relatively inexpensive lifestyle.  There is no doubt he has enough money to last him and his family the rest of their lives.  Why be miserable through 2014 for an unnecessary $50 million?

Ultimately, Palmer will not be behind center for the Bengals next year, either mentally or physically.  Mike Brown may convince him to stay, but it's obvious Palmer won't be the same mentally, which is worse than a physical injury.  What will the Bengals front office do?  They've shown time and time again they don't know what they're doing.  They will find a way to lose without Palmer at the helm.

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