It is time for a labor negotiations respite. For the next few minutes, there will be no talk of decertification, 18-game schedules, billions of dollars here or millions of dollars there.
That stuff is too serious and too depressing. Who needs a laugh?
If so, look no further than the running punch-line that is the Cincinnati Bengals.
As usual, the Bengals current offseason drama produces much-needed amusement. And with an offseason as depressing as this one, the humorous distraction is welcomed.
Carson Palmer requested a trade out of Cincinnati.
"I have $80 million in the bank," Palmer was reported to say by WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. "I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life."
Ah, the Bengals. As bad as things get with the Cleveland Browns, only look south on I-71 to reaffirm the fact, "Well, at least I don't root for the Bengals."
How will the drama play out? Will Bengals owner Mike Brown budge and trade Palmer? In the past, he has denied players' requests (i.e. Chad Ochocinco) to be traded. Why start now?
If he calls Palmer's bluff, the Bengals will enter 2011 the quarterback controversy that is Jordan Palmer vs. Dan LeFevour. Chalk up two wins for the Browns in 2011.
But before we get to 2011, how the Bengals handle the Carson Palmer situation does affect the Browns and this April's draft. This year, the Bengals pick two slots ahead of the Browns at No. 4 overall. The Browns' bad draft picks are only second to the Bengals bungles.
Andre Smith, 2009
David Pollack, 2005
Peter Warrick, 1999
Akili Smith, 2000
Ki-Jana Carter, 1995
Dan Wilkinson, 1994
David Klinger, 1992
Currently, Cincinnati is expected to select Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. That is assuming Carson is a Bengal. What if the Bengals decided to find a replacement? Cam Newton to the Queen City would just make perfect sense. See: Klinger, David and Smith, Akili.
If Newton is drafted by the Bengals, that could allow Green, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley or even LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson to slip to the Browns at No. 6. The Browns would be glad to draft any one from that trio.
The NFL's labor situation may get you down. Another regime change for the Browns, a team coming off two consecutive 5-11 seasons, may cause you to hang your head. When that feeling arrives simply turn your attention to the soap opera re-occurring in Cincinnati, Ohio. No doubt, a smile will appear.