Just when we think we’ve heard everything about Carson Palmer’s Bengals career, more information is revealed.
Just before last month’s NFL Draft, Palmer appeared on The Ryen Russillo Podcast to talk about his football story. Long before he forced his way out of Cincinnati in 2011, Palmer was told by several potential agents to do what he could to avoid being drafted by the Bengals with the first-overall pick in the 2003 draft.
“Everybody told me that,” Palmer said. “Every agent I interviewed, before I walked into the interview, already had a route to avoid the Bengals. But I loved it. I was told ‘don’t go there. It’s a quarterback graveyard. Your career will not be what it could’ve been if you end up there.’ And so I being young and naive was like ‘no, I’m going to go there and change it. And change their success. Change how the organization does things.’ Obviously they haven’t been doing things correctly for a long time. I thought I was the change of that and it took me nine years to realize that it wasn’t. When I was coming out I don’t think there was one person outside of my agent that I ended up hiring who he did not have a plan.”
Palmer said the agent he hired, David Dunn of Athlete’s First, asked him what he wanted to do. Palmer told him he wanted to play for the Bengals. Before he hired Dunn, Palmer said there was a plan to get the Chicago Bears to trade for him, and all he had to do was to tank his Pro Day.
“The best one was Chicago,” Palmer said. “I had multiple agents maneuvering me from the first pick with the Bengals down to the fourth pick with Chicago. And one guy was like: ‘Here’s what we’re going to do, you’re going to totally go up and blow up your pro day. You’re gonna throw a bunch of dinks that don’t even spiral into the dirt.’”
Obviously, that was not what Palmer wanted to do.
“That pro day was an opportunity to go out and display my abilities and my skills,” Palmer said. “I wasn’t about to go out and tank and sandbag, because that was an opportunity for me to start the process of proving myself.”
Palmer and the Bengals couldn’t quite achieve their goals during their eight seasons together, but at the very least, he did not give in to what could’ve been detrimental advice to his career. The former Heisman Trophy-winner was very productive with the Bengals and eventually found his way to the Arizona Cardinals, where secured a postseason victory in his 13th season.
What eventually became a fractured relationship at least started in good faith.