It’s no secret the Chicago Bears have struggled with the quarterback position for years now, dating back to after Jim McMahon left the franchise. Over the years, the Bears have attempted to fix the position with draft picks, trades and even free-agent signings.
As we sit here just a few days before the 2021 NFL Draft begins, the Bears are once again in the market for a long-term solution. But just recently a story was told about a former No. 1 overall pick and the interest the Bears had in him.
Former Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was on the Rich Eisen Show last week as he talked about his predraft process leading up to being the No. 1 overall pick by the Bengals that year. In the interview, Palmer revealed that he had conversations with the Bears who was picking No. 4 at the time and told them to come up and get him at No. 1 overall.
However, Cincinnati wasn’t budging and had their mind made up on the former USC standout.
“The Bengals had the first pick. I actually ended up signing my rookie contract a few days before the draft. I knew where I was going for most of the process,” Palmer said. “Chicago had the fourth pick and they were looking potentially at a quarterback and that was a team that was talking to me a bunch and trying to figure out how to get up there or how to stay in that fourth slot. They stayed in the fourth and I went to the Bengals.”
Palmer then revealed that the Bears indeed tried to move up.
“They did. And the Bengals at that point just weren’t willing to listen to any trade demands or any trade talks,” Palmer said. . . “I’ll never forget. I was, I think maybe my pro day at USC and we went into heritage hall at USC and I was walking around heritage hall showing Jerry Angelo, who was the GM of the Bears at the time, and we sat down and had lunch and I was like ‘What’s the deal? Are you going to come up and get me? What’s the play?’ and he said ‘I’m not at liberty to say what’s what but we are interested in you.’ I was like ‘Jerry, come get me man, this is a great opportunity’. At the time they had Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and Peanut Tillman and all those guys on defense. And they always seemed to have a good offensive line, so I was intrigued by that.”
Palmer went on to say that he had memories of watching the Bears growing up on Monday Night Football and talked about the tradition. He also went on to say that he was interested in the franchise and the roster as it was constructed.
The problem was, Cincinnati wasn’t budging on any offers and took Palmer. Chicago meanwhile traded the No. 4 pick to the New York Jets and selected Michael Haynes at No. 14 and then Rex Grossman at No. 22 in that first round.
We should also note that Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs were drafted in 2003.
You can watch the full interview with Palmer here and think what could have been for a team that went to the Super Bowl just a few years later..