Have you ever heard the stories of people who go to garage sales and end up buying some work of art worth millions? The Bengals just accomplished the opposite — they sold an old table they didn't want for millions.
Cincinnati got at least a first- and second-round pick for a guy who they didn't even want any more. Andy Dalton has brought a youthful energy to this offense that didn't exist when Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco and T.O. were doing whatever they were doing in Cincinnati.
There was a time I thought Palmer was going to be the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but that was before he hurt his knee and elbow. He was never the same guy after Kimo Von Oelhoffen lunged into his knee during the Bengals-Steelers playoff game.
Palmer was as fed up with the Bengals' losing ways. So were most of the Bengals' players Cincinnati fans, but none of us left. Cincinnati may not be California, but it is a proud town with fans who wanted no part of a quarterback who had bailed on them.
If Palmer had come to training camp, the Bengals would have been forced to trade him or lose the fans they had remaining. Most people in Cincinnati just assumed that Mike Brown would do what he always does, take a stand and not budge even if it ultimately hurt the team. He had a point to make that nobody forces his hand. A Carson Palmer trade was just assumed to have died a Mike Brown death. Then a sequence of events occurred that was as unlikely as this trade.
Hope. What a glorious word.
One other factor that won't be talked about much but is notable is that the Bengals will be forced to pay a league-mandated minimum amount of money on player salaries in a couple of years. That salary floor is not much below the salary cap maximum.
So not only will the Bengals have multiple draft choices, they will have money that they will have to spend on their own players or free agents (Thank you, DeMaurice Smith and the players' union).
I woke up this morning a Bengals fan and season-ticket holder, I go to bed tonight a Bengals fan dreaming a different dream......WHO DEY!!!!!