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Bengals sign Carson Palmer

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Bengals signed Carson Palmer, the former Southern California quarterback who will be taken first overall in Saturday's NFL draft.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it's believed the pact is for seven years, and with incentives can reach $49 million for the life of the contract. The deal also includes $14 million in bonuses.

The 6-5, 232-pound Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002 while leading the Trojans to an 11-2 record and a BCS Orange Bowl victory.

"We are very excited to both select and sign Carson," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "We're pleased to be able to have him start learning our system immediately. I believe strongly [that] he has a great NFL future."

Palmer owns several all-time Pac-10 passing records, including passing yards (11,818), touchdown passes (72), and completions (927). He had a rocky start to his collegiate career, but later blossomed under the tutelage of USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

Palmer set three single-season passing records at Southern California in 2002 with 309 completions, 3,942 passing yards, and 33 scoring strikes. He also averaged 303.2 passing yards per game during the campaign.

Palmer will become the second Heisman Trophy winner to be selected by Cincinnati. Running back Archie Griffin, an Ohio State alumnus and two-time Heisman winner, was picked 24th overall by the Bengals in the 1976 draft.

04/24 17:37:01 ET

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