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Former Bengals No. 1 overall draft pick Carson Palmer announces his NFL retirement

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The Bengals’ 2003 first round draft pick—and Cardinals quarterback for the last five years—has announced his retirement from the NFL.

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Palmer selected first Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Carson Palmer has announced his retirement from the NFL.

The Bengals’ 2003 No. 1 overall draft pick and the Cardinals’ quarterback of the last five years is calling it quits, just two days after his head coach, Bruce Arians, also announced his retirement from the NFL.

Palmer had an interesting career with the Bengals, which included sitting in his rookie year and watching Jon Kitna lead the team. In 2004, he made his debut and led the Bengals to an 8-8 season.

That was followed by six more years with the Bengals, including two playoff games--one in 2005 and one in 2009--the first of which goes down in Bengals history as a "what could have been" moment.

On the first pass play of the game, Kimo von Oelhoffen made a block into Carson Palmer's left knee while trying to pressure him. The injury to Palmer was a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, a double-whammy that had some thinking the QB's career might be over. His career wasn’t over, but the Bengals’ chances of winning the first playoff game of the Marvin Lewis era were. Many thought the Bengals could have won the Super Bowl if Palmer played through the game, and through the playoffs.

Following the 2010 season, Palmer demanded a trade, and the rest is history.

Here’s Palmer’s letter announcing his retirement.

Feel free to leave your Carson Palmer memories or thoughts in the comments!