Brown: Dalton can be 'the cornerstone'

In his first comments since officially trading Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders, Bengals owner Mike Brown said the quick development of rookie Andy Dalton played a major factor in the team's decision to deal its former franchise quarterback.

“Several factors made us believe that trading Carson to Oakland was the best move for the Bengals at this time,” Brown said in a statement released by the team. “The principal development has been Andy Dalton, who has shown himself to be one of the best and most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL. We have a good, young football team, and Andy can be the cornerstone of that team for a long time."

Brown added, "We also find ourselves rather suddenly in position of being able to receive real value for Carson that can measurably improve our team -- which is performing well and is showing real promise for this year and years to come. When this opportunity arose, we felt we could not let it pass, and needed to take a step forward with the football team if we could.”

Palmer decided not to report to the Bengals this year in an attempt to force a trade. The Bengals, though, were complimentary of Palmer, the first overall pick of the 2003 draft who led Cincinnati to AFC North titles in 2005 and 2009.

“Carson helped elevate the franchise here,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “He played at a very high level for us, and I wish him well with the Raiders. We obviously have a strong belief in the ability of Andy Dalton to continue playing well and to be the leader of our offense. He has been exceptionally effective for a rookie, and as good as he has been, we know he has tremendous potential to be even better.”

The Bengals have two first-round picks in a draft for the first time since 1998, when they selected linebackers Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons.