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.

Carson Palmer
Marvin Lewis doesn't plan to start Carson Palmer (above) until at least 2004.
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.