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Top Bengals Stories Of 2011 No. 1: Bengals Trade Carson Palmer To Oakland

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After the disappointing 2010 season came to an end, the Cincinnati Bengals' franchise quarterback, Carson Palmer, told the front office that he wanted to be traded and if he wasn't, he would retire. His demand wasn't meant to be made public, but it was and it wasn't long before the entire world knew about it. Shortly after, the NFL went into lockout mode and Bengals fans were left wondering who would be throwing the passes for their favorite team in 2011.

Carson Palmer's trade demand forced the Bengals to draft a quarterback to replace him. They selected Andy Dalton with their second-round pick. The Bengals also signed Bruce Gradkowski to add some veteran depth at the quarterback position.

As promised, Carson Palmer didn't show up to training camp after Mike Brown decided not to trade him. The Bengals kept come money available just in case he did decide to show up and force a trade but he never did. Palmer seemed perfectly content to sit on his couch throughout the entire season.

Then something happened.

Heading into Week 7 of the 2011 season, just before the trade deadline, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell injured himself and Oakland, who was in position to make a playoff run, needed a new quarterback. As the trade deadline was drawing closer, news broke that the Bengals and the Raiders have agreed to a trade for Palmer.

All Bengals fans crapped their pants at the same time and hell officially froze over.

In the end, the Bengals got a first-round pick in 2012 and a conditional second-round pick in 2013 that could become a first-round pick if Oakland wins a divisional playoff game in the next two years. Coming off a 2011 season in which the Bengals will finish, at worst, with a 9-7 record, two first-round picks in 2012 could set the Bengals up for sustained success in the future. There are plenty of holes in the Bengals roster that need to be filled and the Bengals have the draft picks to fill them.

Palmer's trade demand and threat of retirement started the season on a very low point, but thanks to Dalton, Green, a top-notch defense and two first-round picks in 2012, he helped end the 2011 season on a very high note.