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QB Palmer not scared to land in Cincinnati

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 22, 2003


INDIANAPOLIS -- Carson Palmer understands the history.

Heisman Trophy winners usually don't get picked first in the NFL draft, and Cincinnati's first-round picks often fail.

Palmer wants to change those trends.

"I've not met a whole lot of people like me," he said Friday at the league's scouting combine. "I think I can go in and turn it around."

The former Southern California quarterback won the Heisman in December, and now the question is whether teams will see him as the best player available. Only one vote will count when the draft is held April 26 in New York, and it belongs to the Bengals.

Palmer thinks he can do for Cincinnati what he did for the Trojans last season: turn around a faltering team.

The Bengals, who are picking first for the third time in nine years, haven't made the playoffs since 1990 and have gone 55-137 since. Their record drafting quarterbacks is even worse. The last two times Cincinnati selected a quarterback in the first round, it went with David Klingler and Akili Smith. Both were busts.

Palmer has heard the horror stories, but he isn't worried.

"I don't know what the big knock on them is," he said. "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."

FALCONS: Cornerback Ashley Ambrose, receiver Shawn Jefferson and defensive tackle Shane Dronett were released, putting the team more than $12-million under the salary cap.

GIANTS: Punter Matt Allen, who had a league-worst average of 36.9 yards last season, was released. Allen also threw the desperate pass on a botched field goal as time ran out in a wild-card loss to the 49ers that led to controversy over whether he should have called a timeout and whether the officiating crew mishandled the play.

JETS: Coach Herman Edwards will accept a brotherhood award from One Hundred Black Men, Inc., and the Association for a Better New York on Thursday. The awards are presented annually to individuals who exemplify an outstanding and consistent commitment to brotherhood.

PATRIOTS: Wide receiver Donald Hayes, a free agent who signed last summer but failed to make an impact, was released.

STEELERS: Linebacker Larry Foote was charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly person after a Feb. 3 brawl at a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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