Carson Palmer says Bengals weren’t trying to win a Super Bowl

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The Bengals are poised to use the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on a quarterback.

And the last one they used the top pick on had a warning for Joe Burrow.

Former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, the first pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, didn’t have kind things to say about the franchise during an interview with CBS Sports Radio.

“That’s why I wanted out: I never felt like the [Bengals’] organization was really trying to win a Super Bowl, and really chasing the Super Bowl,” Palmer said. “Because that’s what today’s day and age is. The game today is you can’t just hope you draft well and not go after free agents and you just end up in the Super Bowl. You gotta go get it.

“And I then went and played for Michael Bidwill in Arizona, and Michael was all about winning. Everything was about winning. The culture was about winning. And we — very fortunately — the year before I got to Arizona, I think they won a couple games, or three or four games. And Michael Bidwill dug his feet in the ground, and I saw an owner say we’re gonna go after this. And we’re gonna do what it takes to win. And at the end of the day when owners do what it takes to win and have that type of mentality – and everybody’s on board — you know I saw it right before my eyes. Ten wins, 11 wins, 12 wins — whatever it was, those next three years.

“And when the organization is completely behind doing what it takes to win, and you’ve got the right players, then that’s the recipe for a Super Bowl. When you’ve got good players but you’re not really forcing everybody in the organization’s hand to do what we can to be better, to do what we can to win a Super Bowl, that’s the difference in the NFL. You look at what Bob Kraft’s done. You look at the teams that have had success year in and year out. You look at what goes on in Baltimore. I mean, that team is always good. That team is doing whatever it takes. They are willing to do whatever it takes to win. And that’s why they’re consistently in the playoffs, regardless of who their quarterback is.”

OK then. Don’t hold anything back, Carson.

The fact he used the Cardinals — the franchise with the second-lowest winning percentage all time — as the model for a commitment to winning makes it clear what he thought of his first employer.

46 responses to “Carson Palmer says Bengals weren’t trying to win a Super Bowl

  1. The Bengals were lucky with their first SB appearance
    The second was with a slightly better team ….. but you can see where that franchise has ended up of the past 3 decades- weak , mediocre and pathetic

  2. I understand what he’s saying, but it’s hard to pull a long face for someone whose net worth is around $60 million.

  3. A) He isn’t wrong. Mike Brown only cares about making the maximum amount of money he can with the least effort.

    B) When you’re compared unfavorably to the Bidwells you should re-examine your life choices.

  4. Kind of a bunch of bunk Mr Carson – just look at how many great talent that Mr Bidwell’s management allowed to leave before their time when they still had a talented crew. Bolden Dansby Rolle – and even more recently. I believe that team has been mismanaged since their superbowl appearance – just make money baby results dont count

  5. He doesn’t make sense – what’s the point of having the 1st overall draft pick then? If you’re not trying to win a Super Bowl, then logically it only makes sense to trade down to cheaper draft slots.

    I think Palmer is just trying to make excuses for his poor performance in Cincinnati. As a former #1 pick, they were depending on him to lift the team and he FAILED.

  6. I thought maybe he was referring to first and ten at SF one yard line and failed on four attempts with Pete Johnson behind an All Pro tackle!

  7. What Carson doesn’t remember is that the Bengals had pretty good rosters when he played there. He asked them to to go get him more weapons and they tried by bringing in Ben Utecht, Antonio Bryant and TO. These were players he specifically asked for. What he also forgets is the year he left Andy Dalton took them to the playoffs and did so 5 straight years. At the end of day- Carson Palmer was one of the most hyped QBs and failed to win a single playoff game with an above average roster. The fact that he keeps talking trash about the Bengals is just sad. Everyone else has moved on. He had opportunities with two other franchises and has had the same results.

  8. Unfortunately it’s a business. Unfortunately the goal is to make money. I’m glad I root for a team that, at least for this period of time. is committed to winning. Teams that are consistently 15, 20, 30 , 50 million under the cap, 7 years out of each decade….winning isn’t the goal. It’s a business. That teams goal is to make money.

    Some teams will market and sell their fans winners. Other teams are marketing and selling hope.

  9. Joe Burrow will regret being drafted by the Bengals. I don’t care if he does say he is ok with it. That will change wants he knows Mike Brown. He has a great future in the NFL i just hope he doesn’t waist too many years there before he can move on to a decent team.

  10. I wish one time someone would ask Palmer why he thinks the Bengals made the Playoffs 5 years in a row after he quit. Maybe they were being held back by a QB taking up the largest share of their salary cap that wasn’t all in anymore?

  11. “Pushing” got the Cardinals three quality seasons and two playoff appearances…followed by a rapid drop-off that included having the worst record in the NFL one year. Only foolish teams push so hard in the present that they destroy their future; fans of every team should be very happy that Palmer isn’t their GM.

  12. Funny he doesn’t remember how many times his teams won ‘I think they won two games’…’whatever it was’. Pretty sad he has no recall on the specifics of leading his teams

  13. There is no denying Mike Brown sucks and the Bengals are dysfunctional. But Palmer seems to be bitter that as soon as the Bengals dumped him they turned things around and made the playoffs 5 years in a row.
    By the way, Palmer’s bad play is the biggest reason Arizona didn’t win a Superbowl with him.

  14. Put it this way, who here thinks Mike Brown was trying to win instead of trying to make more money?

    Exactly.

  15. rutledge3197 says:
    January 31, 2020 at 8:06 am
    The Bengals were lucky with their first SB appearance
    The second was with a slightly better team ….. but you can see where that franchise has ended up of the past 3 decades- weak , mediocre and pathetic
    _________________________________________________________

    How do you get a “lucky” Super Bowl appearance?? and the second team that made it was LOADED at least on offense. They were a dropped interception from Lewis Billups of a ball in his hands from winning that Super Bowl against a GREAT SF team and they were only slightly beter than the team that got lucky to be in it?? hmmmmmm ok. They were pathetic once Mike Brown took over until Marvin Lewis got there then at least they made the playoffs quite a bit and won the division several times. That is not mediocre. A lot of teams since the Lewis era did wish they had that success. Lewis just couldnt get them a playoff win.

  16. hanktadd says:
    January 31, 2020 at 8:17 am
    A) He isn’t wrong. Mike Brown only cares about making the maximum amount of money he can with the least effort.
    ————
    Your statement is true. But the worst part of it is, the franchises that make the most money are the franchises that win consistently. Look at the Patriots, they were a dumpster fire. Almost moved to St Louis. They weren’t worth much compared to other franchises. Now they are a top 5 most valuable franchise. Wins = $$$

  17. Hey Carson, remember that 2009 home playoff game when you put up a whopping 14 points and lost to the Jets and Mark freaking Sanchez?? And you had weapons all over the field. The fact is you were just like Andy Dalton…good enough to win some games, but bad enough to lose more.

  18. I think I speak for every Bengal fan and can say Mike Brown is a terrible owner and can’t wait when the day comes when he is no longer that. That being said the last like 10 years the Bengals have been around the middle of the pack in salary cap spending. He needs to push the envelope more and be more aggressive, but it isn’t like he is not spending money. Bottom line is if he doesn’t make some bold moves this year the stadium will continue to be even more empty and selecting Burrow might help slightly, but that isn’t going to cut it overall.

  19. there’snoSonBurrow says:
    January 31, 2020 at 8:09 am
    How many titles did you win in Arizona, Carson? Maybe while in Cincy, you should have thrown fewer pick 6’s to Polamolu… mighta helped get us over the hump.
    ============================

    Uhhhh Palmer was in the Super Bowl conversation in Arizona ever year but the last year there pretty much. Palmer was a 2X Pro Bowler in Arizona and made an All-Pro team, Palmer won 50 games over 5 seasons AVG 10 wins a year. In 2014 Carson Palmer likely would of Super Bowl with that team had he of not injured his knee, Arizona was undefeated when he went down and was on track for the #1 seed. Palmer fought his way back in 2015 returning from his ACL and went 13-3 throwing for 4600YDs and 35TDs going to an NFC Championship game.
    Once Palmer went to Arizona with actual talent around him Palmer was showed with some pieces around him that he was an elite QB who could play at an extremely high level, it’s just sad Palmer wasted his prime years playing on crap teams in CINCI for an owner who had no interest in spending the money to build a real winner and chase championships. If Palmer had been drafted by a good proven team known for chasing championships in the first place such as say the Steelers , Ravens , Packers etc Carson Palmer likely would have a couple rings and would be a HOF, I mean look what he did with bad organizations ranking in the top 10 QB’s of all time in several different statistics. Several players who have trained with Carson Palmer have said it is not even question that Palmer is better than a lot of guys of his generation with rings and was among the best in the league he was just stuck playing for the worst organization in the NFL over the majority of his career.

  20. twinfan24 says:
    January 31, 2020 at 9:25 am
    Ironically, the fact that the Bengals employed Carson Palmer as their QB so long proves they were not thinking they would win the Super Bowl.
    ======================================

    Except for the fact that Carson Palmer went elsewhere and immediately was very successful having a ton of success becoming an All-Pro QB once again, making a couple more Pro Bowls and an NFC Championship game along with a few more trips to the post season AVG 10 Wins per year with 50 wins in 5yrs with the Cardinals. I take it your job doesn’t involve a lot of critical thinking.

  21. It needs to be said, but what also needs to be said, is that despite being unhappy with the situation, you still don’t throw your integrity away like Palmer did. You don’t quit the team like that. If you didn’t like it, you shoulda never signed that last contract. That was on you bro.

  22. Palmer is a quitter. Quit on his team, fan base, and owner. After owner paid him 90 million. He has no credibility here.

  23. The fact he used the Cardinals — the franchise with the second-lowest winning percentage all time — as the model for a commitment to winning makes it clear what he thought of his first employer.

    ——————————-

    To be fair, Cardinals play in a division with the Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams. At least one or more of those teams were dominant for stretches at at time. They gave everyone one else the NFC trouble. Cardinals never really found a franchise QB either in the last 20 years. Obviously due to poor drafting but that doesn’t mean they aren’t committed to winning SBs.

  24. So let me get this straight. Carson played with a perennial all-pro receiver (Chad Johnson), a pro bowl WR (TJ Housh), a pro bowl RB (Rudi Johnson), another pro bowl RB (Cedric Benson), and a perennial all-pro RT (Willie Anderson) on a very good offensive line and he made the playoffs twice in his time in Cincy. Absolving himself of any blame is cute.

  25. The Bengals were trying to win their way. Their way isn’t going to work. I’m not 100% sure they’ve learned that, but if they want to win a Superbowl they take the best QB in this draft and they go from there. To imply that they aren’t trying is a joke. Carson Palmer quit (I would have too), got a career rebirth and still didn’t win much of anything. Probably time for him to be quiet about The Bengals for awhile.

  26. Sour grapes when your part of the problem instead of the solution! No doubt, Cincy won’t offer him a front office job!

  27. I still believe Palmers injury to his throwing hand cost the Cardinals the Super Bowl in 2015. That team was great… however Palmers play after the injury dropped considerably.

  28. Listen the Bengals haven’t had a good season since boomer or at least a legitimate shot anyway their almost as bad for young NFL qbs careers as the browns.

  29. He doesn’t make sense – what’s the point of having the 1st overall draft pick then? If you’re not trying to win a Super Bowl, then logically it only makes sense to trade down to cheaper draft slots.

    I think Palmer is just trying to make excuses for his poor performance in Cincinnati. As a former #1 pick, they were depending on him to lift the team and he FAILED.

    If your owner is depending on his top draft pick to lift the team then he’s destined to fail. The one thing the Ravens do well is draft and develop players. Every year at least one undrafted free agent makes the team. The latter round of the draft consistently net starters. The approach to free agency is the right player at the right price. The Steelers and Patriots have similar approaches. It’s always been said that the Bengals is an organization that puts profits above winning. I can’t say if it’s true or not but hearing Carson Palmer make this claim definitely gives one cause to pause.

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