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Additional terms apply. We continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio, gearing up for the NFL Draft. We head to Kansas City for the start of three live shows coming up tomorrow. And now joining us as a former number one overall pick, he got drafted 20 years ago to the Cincinnati Bengals. Also won a Heisman Trophy and he's here today on behalf of Level Select OTC. Joining us in studio on the Zach Gelb show is Carson Palmer. Carson, how you been? Good Zach, thanks for having me.
I appreciate you coming in. So 20 years ago you got drafted. What are the memories that come back to mind of that night when the Bengals made you the number one overall pick? Yeah, just excitement.
You know, it's a near and dear moment to anybody's heart that sits in that green room. And, you know, I don't pull for any individual team as much anymore, but when the draft comes on, I love watching the draft. It just brings back, you know, 20 year old memories.
And so I'm not even pulling for a team or an individual player. I just like watching the draft, seeing the green room, remembering that experience, the nerves in that green room. Everybody's smiled and dolled up and looking good in their suits and jewelry and everything. But just the anticipation of each guy and each family member that's there with that guy that's about to get drafted or hopefully to get drafted. And just, you don't know what new uniform you're going to be wearing. You don't know what colors you're going to be playing in.
You don't know what fan base you're going to be playing for, what ownership group, what coaching staff, what offensive and defensive playbook you're about to run. There's just so much excitement around it. It's almost like, you know, when you're having your first child and you don't know whether it's a boy or girl. And just that anticipation, that excitement. There's very few true surprises left.
And draft day is one of them. My situation was different. I signed a contract three days before the draft and I knew where I was going. And I kind of was sitting there with a little bit of jealousy. You wish there was some suspense.
Yeah, there's so much suspense for everybody. The other guys were saying they were jealous of the contract you were getting too. Well, they were jealous at the moment.
They're like, man, you're lucky. You know where you're going. And I remember thinking to myself, like, it's kind of cool though, that suspense of not knowing. You're about to go from here in New York to the new place you're about to live, maybe for the next decade or more or less if you don't handle your business the right way.
But that kind of suspense and excitement is hard to replicate. It's hard to find outside of the green room. If you could go back and if you could give yourself advice, now knowing what you know about the NFL, right, the business side of it, the ups and downs of a career, what advice would you give yourself if you go back into that green room?
You know, I don't look at anything with any wish of changing something one way or another. But I think the best advice for the guys in that room is surround yourself with a really good team and not the team that drafts you in the uniform you wear. Just from top to bottom, the right support group, the right influences, the right friends. And that sometimes that's getting rid of some of the right friends or some of the right people that shouldn't be in that group. And it's just so important for these guys. If you're Bryce Young and you're going to Carolina, having the right team around you is so important. And the right chiropractor, deep tissue massage to keep you healthy, to keep you on the field, to keep you continuously playing throughout the years.
The right advice off the field from a financial advisor, from a mentor, just really surrounding yourself with the support system. And more often than not, I've seen so many guys that have come in with just too many people around them. Too many voices, too many opinions, too many people hanging around and just really focusing and being selfish. You can be selfish. You need to have the right people that make you the best you, that make you the best person off the field, that make you the best person on the field.
So my advice to all these guys that come, because I've seen them come and go, is just surrounding yourself with the right group. And I was fortunate to have that coming in the league. Carson Palmer here with us on behalf of Level Select OTC. You look at this draft class, you said it, Bryce Young we all think is going number one overall to the Carolina Panthers. Then after that, we truly don't know, and that's what makes it fun from what we do, in what's going to happen in two and on in this draft. Usually we have an idea of the first three picks or so, some years you do, some years you don't.
When you look at these quarterbacks, do you think Stroud's the second best quarterback? Because it's weird, the last two weeks it seems like his stock is falling, and that's also why I hate this draft process. Because all the years previously it seems like they don't matter, the rumors that you hear these two weeks leading up to the draft.
Yeah, it's a crapshoot. I mean, Will Anderson's a phenomenal pick for somebody. I mean, if you want a plug and play guy, a guy that probably is a rookie, he's going to get seven plus sacks and a dozen or so tackles for loss.
And stout in the run game, and right attitude. Like, he's a great pick. He's a great number one pick. If you need a quarterback, you can't take him. Because there's a great number one pick at quarterback in Bryce.
Bryce is also a plug and play. He is ready. You can probably, if you're Carolina and you take him, you can assume that he's ready. And week one he can be your starter, and they need a week one starter.
But it's a crapshoot, and you look at these guys. I don't know who the second best quarterback is. I think the most confident answer I have right now is there's going to be two quarterbacks that get overdrafted. There's going to be two quarterbacks probably taking the top three or four picks. There's going to be three quarterbacks probably taking the top ten picks. I think if you look back in 2029, I think we're going to look back and go, oh, so and so should have been drafted 18, not four. And so and so should have been drafted 47, not nine. I think it's one of those drafts. There's Bryce who is ready, and there's a lot of guys past him that are, it's a 50-50. You're just not quite sure. I mean, you look at Richardson out of Florida, and man, he's a specimen.
Levis out of Kentucky, man, he's a specimen. But you're just not quite sold because they don't have the film that Bryce has. Bryce's film is really, really good and hard to question. These other guys, there's a lot of hope. There's a lot of expectation. But they don't have the film that Bryce has.
They have the size that Bryce doesn't have. And because there's so many teams at the top of this draft that or that want to get to the top of this draft and need a quarterback, there's going to be a couple guys that are overdrafted. I think the difficult part now, Carson Palmer, is that everyone tries to find the next Patrick Mahomes. And there's only one Patrick Mahomes. And it seems like each and every year there's a guy or two, like you said, that goes early or then expected just because they're like, OK, he could be if he puts everything together, maybe like 25 percent or 50 percent of Patrick Mahomes. But every time that guy gets drafted, it's like when you watch the tape, you haven't seen that player.
Whether it was a Jordan Love a few years ago or Zach Wilson, or if you want to go to Richardson and Levis, put it together consistently. It's such a challenging position and even more challenging to to critique and and to figure out who is the next Patrick Mahomes. The worst thing that happened to all these guys is Patrick Mahomes.
Yeah. There's only one of him. There's only one guy that can throw the ball with that much velocity off platform accurately.
The way the only one I've seen, I haven't seen another one and I've seen some great ones up close, been on the field and played against, you know, worked out with an offseason. You can't assume that there is another Patrick Mahomes. Just take him out. Take Aaron Rodgers out.
Those two guys are physically so far ahead and above everybody else that they are outliers. So don't you know, that's one thing from from a team's respect. Don't look to draft another Patrick Mahomes. That was a once in a generation kind of deal. Him not being the number one pick or number two pick and falling to where he fell. You just can't try to replicate that.
You need to find the right guy. If you're Carolina and you're going to build you look at the way that salary cap is structured. That's a defensive minded organization that has been for a long time. They've really focused on defense and they've had some, you know, Cam Newton's and Steve Smith's and some outliers.
But things are based around that defense if they continue to build around the defense and build around the run game, which is something they've done until they traded Christian McCaffrey last year. You need more of a game manager. You don't need, you know, the Richardson who, you know, has all the athletic ability in the world, has some unbelievable tape coming out of Florida and then some head scratchers coming out of Florida. You or organizationally for Carolina, you want more of a plug and play guy, a guy that controls the football, takes care of the ball. If they're going to continue to build that organization around defense and really around the defensive front, which is something they've been known to do, you want a game manager. You don't need the freakishly athletic type that's going to pull a wild play out of nothing. You need somebody that consistently moves the change that gets you in the right play in the run game to get you in the right pass protection in the pass game.
And I think the guy for them, it just looks from my vantage point, it looks like Bryce is that guy. I have to ask you, because I saw your name in the news a few weeks ago and I knew we were having you coming on in. So I didn't listen because I wanted to just ask you in person. I saw a few weeks ago there was a headline that you said Burrow is the best quarterback in the NFL. Explain that one.
Let me let me defend myself. I still stand by my statement. But I was asked, I was on my brother's podcast called The Room, and this is during the playoffs. Joe was still in the playoffs.
Patrick Mahomes was still in the playoffs. And we got to be a GM for a day and pick and I picked I got any pick I wanted. I picked quarterback, X receiver, Z receiver, tight end. We each picked and I picked. I actually went all issue. I picked Pat or I picked Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson in Minnesota and Jamar Chase.
So I had that the trio of the LSU guys and then Travis Kelce was my tight end. And then it comes out months later. And, you know, that was wow. That was back in January.
And then Patrick Mahomes goes out and wins the AFC championship on one leg and then wins the Super Bowl on one leg again. Gotcha. And I got my foot in the mouth. But I'm standing by my I'm standing by my point. My point was Joe's younger.
He's extremely consistent. And that's who I picked. Now, Patrick Holmes, like I said, went out and won a Super Bowl on one leg and just does mind boggling things on the football field that I haven't seen done before. But I'm still standing by because I said it back in January. I'm still standing by Joe because he's younger.
Well, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't admit this to you. I was starting to make that shift leading into that AFC title game. I said, if Burrow wins, he will be viewed as the best quarterback in football. And then Mahomes did what Mahomes did. You have the two MVPs and you have the two Super Bowl championships and the two Super Bowl MVPs. And it's like, OK, that argument fades away. And you look at it, the Bengals have the better team than the Chiefs.
And Burrow has more weapons. It's not me crapping on Joe Burrow. I love the guy. I love his family. He's phenomenal.
He's the second best quarterback in the league. But it's funny how that came out when it did. And then you said it months earlier. Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, you're comparing the Internet, of course, but you're comparing a Rolls Royce to a Bentley. Yeah.
You know what I mean? We're either right. I'll take either one. They're both great.
I think. I mean, Pat has done things we haven't seen done in this league. Joe's done things we have seen done in this league and really only by Tom Brady, which as far as the way he plays the game in the pocket, the consistency which with he plays the game week in, week out. You know, you just don't get a bad game or an off game from Joe.
You don't get the spectacular mind boggling plays that Patrick Mahomes has. But I just love Joe's consistency. I love his toughness. He's got really good players around him, no doubt.
I know how hard it is to do that for that organization and what he's come into that organization and brought and steadied the ship. And they're building. It's just a perfect recipe. There's a lot a lot of good going on in Cincinnati.
And it's great to see. We're waiting to see what the contract will end up being for Joe Burrow. I just saw a few hours ago the Bengals made the biggest no brainer of all time, picking up his fifth year option.
Shocker. If you were Joe Burrow, would you ask for a fully guaranteed contract? Not if that was the sticking point. I think I think the thing that needs to be factored in is when you fully guarantee a contract. That ownership group has to have that money in the bank.
And that's tough to do. If you didn't sell Home Depot like Arthur Blank did and on the Falcons. That's a family run organization. That is one of one of their few businesses. So, you know, either the Bengals have the 250 million in the bank or they don't. There are some owners in this league that do. There are some owners that don't.
So I think if that's a sticking point, then you don't ask for that. Just because at the end of the day, they either they can foot the bill or they can't. It's not like they can just whip up that money out of nowhere.
They either got it or they don't. Because that money has to go into a hold as soon as he signs it. So if that is a sticking point for the organization, no. But Joe's got all the leverage in the world. I mean, he needs to take advantage of this opportunity. He's got a chance to sign a phenomenal long term deal, but he needs some insurances that they're going to continue to spend. What they did this last two off seasons and the amount of money they spent in free agency was an anomaly.
They have not done that in the history of the organization. So they've made some great steps. I think those are big bonuses and big pluses for Joe. He's got a chance to structure this contract. If they can't fully guarantee the whole thing, he's got all the leverage. So he needs to make sure they continue to spend a certain amount in free agency or he gets some sort of input on certain things. So he's in a perfect position. You know, the AFC North is down with Lamar and what's going on in Pittsburgh. They're in a prime position to take over and be the dominant team in that in that division.
And the AFC is loaded and he's got a good young team around him. Jamar, you got to figure out and pay him coming up here pretty soon. T Higgins is another guy you got to kind of figure out. So Joe's got a chance to have a fingerprint on that locker room in that roster. And he's at the perfect he's in the perfect position to have leverage to be able to get certain things he wants around him. And I'm just happy for Joe.
I never fault a guy for taking the most amount of money possible. But you mentioned Brady earlier and like that idea, that conversation just comes up. This Bengals team is loaded.
You've got to find the way even though you can move around the cap now. And I don't even understand the salary cap anymore with all the deferred years and things that they do. It makes you wonder, like, should borough take a few million less so they could ensure that they can keep a Jamar Chase and a T Higgins? It's every quarterback's question. What are you going to do?
Do you want to max this thing out? Or do you want to continue to keep money on the table for other guys for when Jamar's up, for when T's up? So, yeah, I mean, that is the question. Only Joe knows how bad he needs T or how bad he needs Jamar or how bad he needs that fully guaranteed contract. But the ball's in his court and I'm excited to see how it ends up. Carson Palmer here with us. I got to ask you about one of your other former teams, the Arizona Cardinals.
You're talking about the Bengals being in a great spot. The Cardinals are an absolute mess, not only with ownership and you have a whole new regime coming in, so we'll see what happens there. But Kyler Murray, a lot of people, even his own teammates, have been questioning his leadership. It looks like Hopkins won't be back. Buddha Baker wants out as well with two years left on his deal.
If you could talk to Kyle, I don't know if you have a relationship with him, what advice would you give him? Yeah, I mean, it's the exact opposite of what's going on in Cincinnati. You know, you look at Arizona and Seattle's making a play to be really good. The Rams could be really, really good.
San Francisco's really, really good. That is a loaded division. Your quarterbacks hurt. You're going, you're on your, what, third coach in four years, five years from Wilkes to Kingsborough. I mean, fired Steve Keim. There's issues we're hearing in the media with, you know, whatever. There's a lot of, it's a mess in Arizona.
It is very stable in Cincinnati. So it's the exact opposite situation. Kyler's coming off a knee surgery. You know, his work ethic has been questioned and when you go into a knee surgery, nothing is more important than having incredible work ethic and desire to train and train harder every day.
And it's hard and it's monotonous and you've got to learn how to walk again and learn how to jog again, learn how to sprint, learn how to do drops, learn how to step into thrills. Like, he's in such a challenging time with a whole bunch of, just a mess going on organizationally. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Kyler didn't come back until, you know, the fourth quarter of this upcoming season. You know, he's probably not going to be ready week one. He's probably going to be ready midway point week, you know, let's call it week 12.
The team could be one and eleven. And then it's like, well, do we put him back out there? They just signed into a massive contract. They're not going to be able to trade him because the cap hits going to be humongous.
It's just a mess. And, you know, as far as like, you know, is there silver lining here? I don't know what the silver lining is because he's probably not going to be ready to play this season. And then you've got to organizationally decide, are we going to put him back out there and put him in harm's way? If we're already out of the playoffs and we don't have a shot.
So there's a ton of questions to be answered. New regime, new coaching staff, new GM. This draft is going to be interesting. They've got a high pick.
They've got to make some decisions. You know, as far as giving Kyler advice, man, just keep your head down. Block out all this noise and train your butt off and find find that work ethic that people have questioned.
Dig deep. Use that as put that chip on your shoulder. Let that be what propels you through this offseason because he's got a lot of work ahead of him to get ready and get healthy. Do you think the Jets can contend and win a Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers now as their quarterback? I think whoever Aaron plays for has a shot because he's that good.
I think he's got an uphill battle ahead of him. I mean, you got you got Josh Allen and Buffalo who have dominated that division. You've got a really talented, well coached Miami team that's knocking on the door that has as much talent as anybody on anybody's roster in the league.
He had a much easier path to the playoffs and to a Super Bowl in Green Bay. I mean, you Detroit's Detroit, another up and coming, but they're Detroit. Minnesota's kind of been a mess. Chicago's a mess. I mean, that that was as easy a trip to the playoffs and probably first round home game in the playoffs.
As you'll find, it got a lot harder. You got to go through Buffalo. You got to worry about Miami. And then you got Belichick, who's pretty good at coaching, too. And I know they're down, but you still got Belichick. So he went from a pretty bad division to one of the best in the game and a conference that's a whole lot tougher. I mean, you got Mahomes, you got the discrepancy from the AFC quarterbacks of the NFC quarterbacks is is wild. It's not even close. So Hertz is the best quarterback in the NFC, like the second best quarterback. You could make a case for Kirk Cousins, Dax Stafford. It's messy in the NFC.
It's a mess. But the AFC is top heavy and it is loaded with quarterbacks. And so, I don't know, it just kind of felt like a lateral move from. It's not like he went, you know, when Tom Brady left New England, he went from a B minus roster to an A plus roster. But defense in in in Tampa was phenomenal. They had pass rushers. They had Devin White at linebacker.
They had guys all over the place. They had Mike Evans and Godfrey and or Godwin and a stable of backs. You know, he went from a decent roster to a really good roster. I think Aaron's going from a decent roster to a decent roster. So it's not getting any easier as he's getting older. And Tom Brady was getting older. The game got easier when he went to Tampa because he had all the he could just dump these little checkdowns to running backs. He could throw all these screens and guys would score.
It's hard when you get older. You want to go if you are going to if you are going to leave one team and go to another, you want to go to a team that's got thoroughbreds like Brady did. I don't think that's the case. I think Aaron Rodgers is leaving Aaron Jones, who is one of the, you know, a home run hitter at running back. He was the second best player after Aaron Rodgers. So he's leaving some good players in in Green Bay and going to some good players.
But it's not a massive upgrade and you want a massive upgrade when you're 37, 39 and going to a new team on the way out with Carson Palmer. I want to ask you about Caleb Williams, because he's a rock star and he just won the Heisman. We know USC is going to have college football playoff expectations this year. But that's kind of tough when you're already anointed the guy and you still got to play college football and everyone's already calling you the number one overall pick in the draft.
It's tough. But if anybody can do it, it's Caleb. I think if Caleb was in this draft, he'd be going to Carolina. I think he'd be the number one pick and it wouldn't there would be Bryce would be a whole level below Caleb when you evaluate those two players. So if there's anybody that can deal with the expectations, the L.A. media, you know, not sneaking up on anybody now, the Heisman Trophy winners coming into your stadium every week.
I mean, those kind of expectations, that kind of pressure. Caleb seems really built for it. He is mature beyond his years. He's athletic. He can throw it with the best of them. I'm just really excited about, you know, he's got a legit chance to be a two time Heisman winner. It hasn't been done since Archie Griffin.
So, I mean, decades ago, this is a rare and unique opportunity. And he's like I said, he is mature beyond his years. He gets it.
He's not going to get distracted by all the hype and get distracted by all the hoopla being in L.A. being. I mean, I think if anybody's built for this, it's Caleb Williams. Tell me about Level Select OTC. Level Select OTC. You can go on levelselect.com right now. Type in promo code Carson20.
Get 20 percent off everything on the site. If you've got aches, pains, bumps, bruises, sorenesses, I use it every day because I have all of those things. So I use it every day. It's something that's that's part of my morning, part of my evening. I'm still active. I'm still fit. Chasing kids, coaching kids, basketball and football.
And just I feel great in Level Select OTC is a big reason. Appreciate you coming in Carson Palmer. Thanks so much. Thank you.
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