The lead story over at NFL.com is bad news for the Dolphins.
Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown continues to take a hard line regarding the possible trading of disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer, saying from the current NFL owners' meeting that he remains adamant he will not trade the former Pro Bowl player.
"We don't plan to trade Carson," Brown said Monday at the NFL Spring Meeting. "He's important to us. He's a very fine player, and we do want him to come back. If he chooses not to, he'd retire. And we would go with Andy Dalton, the younger player we drafted, who's a good prospect.
"Ideally, we'd have both of them. That'd the best way to go forward. If we don't have Carson, we'll go with Andy."
I reported way back in March that of all the veteran quarterbacks with a possibility of being available when the NFL gets back to work, Palmer would be first on Miami's wish list if he's indeed available. I also told you that could be wishful thinking because the Bengals, specifically Brown, has said countless times he's not trading Palmer.
Palmer, as you may know, has said he will not play again in Cincinnati. He's said he would rather retire than return. So Brown is apparently picking the nuclear option rather than considering a trade that would bring a draft pick to his team.
And everyone I've spoken to tells me Brown is serious. So I get it.
I've been at this for a long time. And I know sometimes -- more often than many know -- things are said definitively for public consumption for the sake of taking a stance that improves ones status, or bargaining position, or fulfills some other agenda.
"I will not be the Alabama coach."
"We are not trading Jason Taylor."
"We are not selling the Miami Dolphins."
"I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."
"Read my lips, no new taxes."
--President Bush 41
"I'm starting my diet tomorrow. Pass me the carrot cake."
"Tom Brady, right arm (questionable)"
--New England Patriots injury report
"I believe this is the year that we're going to win the Super Bowl. I thought we'd win it the first two years. I guarantee we'll win it this year."
Lies. All of them. Lies. Folks sometimes say things to suit their agenda. And when setting up a possible trade, it suits a team's agenda to raise the value on that player. I do not know if this is what Brown is doing. Again, from all I'm told, that is not his way of operating.
But until we know for sure, we cannot dismiss the possibility, however small, that Brown is saying he will not trade Palmer because saying otherwise at this point would basically lower Palmer's value. Think of what the Tennessee Titans are doing with Vince Young, for example.
They are being completely forthright. They are saying they'd like to trade Young, but will release him if a trade cannot be worked out. So Young's trade value, not great to begin with, is through the floor because every team knows if they hold fast on giving up compensation for him, they can enter a free agency derby for him without having to pay a draft pick in return.
Palmer, meanwhile, has most value if the team that currently holds his rights values him so highly that they would rather have him retire than let him go elsewhere.
Another agenda possibly at play here is one taught to me by a wise football man. He told me you never give in to a player who demands to leave your team because then you might have a handful of players making that demand. You hold that player hostage as long as possible. Then, if and only if you get high return for that player, you dump him before he becomes a distraction or problem in your locker room.
That is, if you remember correctly, exactly what the Dolphins did with Jason Taylor. It is, if you remember correctly, what they did with Patrick Surtain. It is, if you remember correctly, what they failed to do with Daunte Culpepper because they missed the timing for getting rid of him and he became a distraction in the summer of 2007.
So don't bet on the Bengals getting rid of Carson Palmer because owner Mike Brown is saying otherwise. But do not be surprised if the Bengals do get rid of Carson Palmer even though owner Mike Brown is saying otherwise.