Selection of Palmer shows Bengals
focused on future

Updated: April 22, 2003, 1:43 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
The Cincinnati Bengals ended all the months of speculation about who they'd select with the No. 1 pick in the draft Monday when they pegged quarterback Carson Palmer as their choice, provided they can come to terms on a contract before the draft.

The move isn't shocking, considering Palmer was always the likely pick. What is a little surprising is that the Bengals decided to use the first pick of the Marvin Lewis regime on a player who won't contribute for at least a year.

Lewis has said time and time again that Jon Kitna will be the starter this season, no matter which player the team selected, and that hasn't changed. But using such a high pick on a player who will collect splinters in his hind parts for no less than a full season is a sign that Lewis, while concerned with the present, has an eye on the future -- a luxury for a new head coach.