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Bengals talk to Raiders about trade for quarterback Carson Palmer
CINCINNATI (AP) ' The Bengals reversed course and negotiated a trade Tuesday that would send quarterback Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders, a source familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.
The Bengals had been adamant that they wouldn't trade Palmer, who hasn't played since the end of last season. The franchise quarterback decided he wanted out of Cincinnati, which has only two winning records in the last 20 years.
Owner Mike Brown repeatedly insisted that he wouldn't meet Palmer's request for a trade because he didn't want to reward him for holding out. He changed his mind after the Raiders offered a first-round pick as part of a package for the 31-year-old quarterback, according to a source speaking on condition of anonymity because no deal was done.
The Raiders (4-2) became desperate for a quarterback after Jason Campbell broke his collarbone during a win over the Browns on Sunday. Oakland was left with Kyle Boller as the starter.
If the Raiders hadn't made a first-round pick as part of its offer, the Bengals were content to let Palmer sit out the entire season and consider trading him next year. Campbell's injury changed the scenario.
Palmer would be a good fit with the Raiders, who like to throw the ball downfield. Palmer won the Heisman Trophy at Southern California after the 2002 season and was the first overall pick in the following NFL draft. He agreed to a contract extension that runs through 2014.
The Raiders would likely renegotiate Palmer's deal, which includes $1 million roster bonuses each of the next three years and base salaries of $11.5 million, $13 million and $14 million in 2014.
The Bengals (4-2) severed ties with Palmer when the season started and he didn't show up, giving his locker to second-round draft pick Andy Dalton. Brown insisted he wouldn't trade Palmer because that would set a precedent.
"He's going to walk away from his commitment," Brown said as the season started. "We aren't going to reward him for doing it."
As recently as Monday afternoon, coach Marvin Lewis reiterated that there was no change in the team's position regarding Palmer, who led the Bengals to their only two winning seasons in the last 20 years.
He was one of the NFL's top passers in 2005, when they won the AFC North. Pittsburgh's Kimo von Oelhoffen crashed into his left knee after he threw his first pass in a first-round playoff game. The Bengals lost, and Palmer needed reconstructive knee surgery.
He partially tore a ligament and tendon in his passing elbow during the 2008 season, but led the Bengals to another division title the following year with a run-based offense. The Bengals teamed receiver Terrell Owens with Chad Ochocinco last season, but finished 4-12.
Lewis played out his contract, saying he wanted to see if the organization was committed to doing things the right way. He agreed to stay even though Brown said there would be no significant changes in the front office. A week later, Palmer said he wanted out.