There’s a lot of Bengals news going public today. The team hired a new wide receivers coach and shifted responsibilities a bit among the defensive backs and the defensive quality control coach. Joe Reedy had a nice roundup of those moves.
I am more concerned with the recent developments in the Carson Palmer saga. Cincy Jungle passed along a report from Peter King saying that the Bengals’ management is “laughing uproariously” at Palmer’s trade request. While I doubt that is true (or maybe I’m just hoping it isn’t), unfortunately perception is too often reality. So the Bengals PR team needs to respond swiftly to the report. I’d even suggest using the word erroneous. The last thing that the team should do is piss off its quarterback more or back him into a corner. Instead, the team should say something like this:
“We share Carson’s frustrations with our season and understand his present feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction. We are taking those feelings seriously. However, we are also committed to Carson Palmer as our quarterback moving forward and are counting on him to lead us back into the playoffs in 2011.”
That’s it. I’ll even let the team use those exact words for a small (large) fee. With a well-timed and worded statement, the team can refute Peter King’s report (even if it’s true) and make it clear once again that the team needs Palmer in 2011. In the end, I think Carson’s professionalism and the reported $11 million in cash will convince him to return for at least one more season. But it would be silly to let that bad publicity hang around, lingering like a foul odor in a crowded elevator.
Clear the air. Do the rebuttal.