- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cincinnati Bengals could not get Carson Palmer to return and mentor rookie quarterback Andy Dalton this season. Therefore, the Bengals went to Plan B Wednesday, agreeing to a two-year contract with veteran quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who most recently played for the Oakland Raiders.
Gradkowski has 20 career starts, which could be needed if Dalton falters this season. Dalton, Cincinnati's second-round pick, enters the season as the starting quarterback despite zero NFL experience.
Gradkowski and veteran backup Jim Sorgi were considered the two favorites to take the place of Palmer, who demanded a trade and threatened to retire. Both free agents have a lot of experience, while at the same time won't threatened Dalton's place as the new franchise quarterback.