CINCINNATI — The Bengals took Carson Palmer with the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Cincinnati actually signed the Heisman Trophy winner before the draft, but Palmer had his sights on another destination prior to finalizing things with the Bengals.
He met with former general manager Jerry Angelo and other members of the Bears' brass at USC's pro day.
"I was like 'Jerry, come get me, man. This is a great opportunity,'" Palmer revealed on the Rich Eisen Show. "At the time they had Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Peanut Tillman and all of those guys on defense. They've always seemed to have a good offensive line so I was really intrigued by that, but at the end of the day I just don't think the Bengals were willing to really even pick up the phone and listen to any talks. They had zeroed in on me and the rest is history.
"I was just looking at their roster [Bears] and their roster was dramatically better than the Bengals at that time. So that was intriguing to me as well."
For more on the Bengals, including free agency and NFL Draft coverage subscribe to our YouTube Channel!!!
The Bears actually drafted Tillman in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft, but Palmer's point remains the same. He was attracted to Chicago's high-end defense.
The Bears had the fourth overall pick and ultimately traded it to the Jets for the No. 13 and 23rd selections.
Would Palmer have won more in Chicago?
"I think it would've been an interesting ride. Like I said, that defense was so good," Palmer said. "Every time we played them I was pissed at Jerry Angelo. Every time we played them I could not wait to play them and I think we beat them pretty badly every time we played them so I think I got the last laugh on that one."
Watch Eisen's entire conversation with Palmer below.
For the latest on free agency and the NFL Draft, bookmark AllBengals and check out some of our other articles below.
You May Also Like:
Be sure to keep it locked on AllBengals all the time!