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Carson Palmer

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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He attended the University of Southern California, where he won the Heisman Trophy Award in 2002 in his senior season. He was drafted by the Bengals with the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and signed a 9-year, $118.75 million contract extension on December 29, 2005. Palmer was the first Heisman Trophy winner since Vinny Testaverde in 1987 to be selected with the first pick of the NFL draft.

Carson Palmer arrived at the University of Southern California in 1998 and immediately competed for the starting quarterback job with Mike Van Raaphorst. Van Raaphorst won, but due to his ineffectiveness, Palmer was named the starter in the ninth game of the season, becoming only the second true freshman to ever start at quarterback for the USC Trojans.

Even though the Bengals finished 8-8, their first non-losing season since 1996, Jon Kitna arguably knew that the Bengals were Carson Palmer's team in 2004. By and large, it was not viewed as a surprise when head coach Marvin Lewis named Palmer his starting quarterback in January, 2004.

Off the field, Palmer and Jon Kitna are best friends and golfing buddies. They also enjoy listening to CD's of the Christian Rock band "instereo" together. In 2004, Palmer organized the Carson Palmer Foundation Golf Classic to raise funds for Hillview Acres, a shelter for abused and underprivileged children.

In 2005, Palmer's breakout season, Palmer led the Bengals to an 11-5 record and an AFC North division title, their first division title since 1990. In doing so, Carson Palmer became the first Bengals quarterback to finish with a 100+ passer rating, tied Indianapolis' Peyton Manning for most consecutive games with a triple digit passer rating, led the NFL in completion percentage, and set a Bengals franchise record by throwing a league-leading 32 touchdown passes. He also set the franchise record for highest passer rating in a season. His 3,836 yards was 4th in the league.

Carson Palmer underwent reconstructive surgery on his injured knee in Houston, Texas on January 10, 2006. Dr. Lonnie Paulos, a surgeon who is independent of the Cincinnati Bengals, performed the operation. Initially, the Bengals organization stated that Palmer had torn the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments with no other damage. However, Dr. Paulos later told the Associated Press that the damage was more extensive and included a dislocation of the kneecap. Dr. Paulos called the injury "devastating and potentially career-ending", which drew a derisive comment from Palmer that implied Paulos simply liked to see his name in print. The Bengals later accepted Dr. Paulos' account , however, Carson Palmer promised he'd be at quarterback in the Bengals' regular season opener at Kansas City on September 10, 2006.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis stated: “This is a serious injury, but we are told the procedure went very well. We know Carson, and we know he will apply himself fully to his rehabilitation. This result encourages our feeling that Carson will be ready to open the 2006 season as our starting quarterback” .


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