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Esiason: QB Gabbert will lack support if drafted by Bengals

Boomer Esiason forged a successful career as quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, but he doesn't wish that role on any of this year's draft-eligible signal-callers.

Esiason said during a conference call for TXN Sports that the Bengals likely will take Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the No. 4 overall pick in next week's draft, suggesting that Carson Palmer's days with the team are done. Palmer has said he will not play for the Bengals and wants to be traded.

"In my estimation, he (Palmer) has absolutely checked out of the Cincinnati hotel," Esiason said, according to the *Sporting News* Thursday. "He is gone, he is out of there, he does not want to play there anymore. And I can completely sympathize with where he's coming from."

The Bengals were scheduled to work out TCU's Andy Dalton and Florida State's Christian Ponder on Friday in Texas. But Esiason, who joined former Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth on the call, believes Gabbert is the pick and will face unique challenges adapting to the Bengals' franchise.

"I have to completely sympathize with Blaine Gabbert if he does get drafted by the Bengals," Esiason said. "I do believe he would make a great fit there, but as Cris and I both know, he is going to have to be a better player than advertised in order to be successful there because of the lack of support."

Esiason played for the Bengals from 1984 to 1992 and again in 1997, throwing for 247 touchdowns and 37,920 yards during a 14-year career that also included stops with the New York Jets (1993-95) and Arizona Cardinals (1996).

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