It was all but certain that the Cincinnati Bengals would select USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer during the 2003 NFL Draft. The Bengals had just finished 2-14 in 2002 and hired a rookie head coach in Marvin Lewis. Things were uncertain. While possibly looking up, the history the Bengals held from 1991 through the 2002 season were well documented.
But Carson Palmer was optimistic. He wanted to turn the Bengals into a winner, yet he was confused at why the Bengals would be a bad destination for him.
"I don't know what the big knock on them is," said Palmer in February 2003. "All I heard coming in here were negative things. It doesn't look bad to me. It looks like a good place for a quarterback to go."
Oh how things change.
Then 2,830 days after the 2003 NFL Draft, Chris Mortensen broke into ESPN's NFL Countdown before the Conference Championship games on January 23 and reported that Palmer "wants a rebirth with a new franchise and will ask the Bengals to trade him this offseason to the team that he desires to play on to the point where he's willing to play the retirement card. He has enough money in the bank."