Bengals All-Time Lists

6 most disappointing trades in Cincinnati Bengals history

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Ki-Jana Carter, Cincinnati Bengals – Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /

Trading for the No. 1 pick in 1995

The Panthers were set to have the No. 1 pick in the 1995 NFL Draft due to being one of the two expansion teams from the year before. Cincinnati decided to trade the fifth overall pick to move up into the top spot for the rights to draft Penn State running back, Ki-Jana Carter.

Bengals fans surely hear that name and groan, as Carter was dreadful as an NFL running back. The Penn State product missed his entire rookie season due to an injury and went on to play just four seasons with the team who drafted him, appearing in 35 total games and making only 14 starts.

During that time, Carter totaled a mere 747 yards off of 227 carries with 16 rushing touchdowns to his name. He also had 52 receptions for 375 receiving yards and a touchdown through the air as well.

Carter played for Washington and New Orleans in the final three years of his career but was out of the league after 2004. Had the Bengals stood pat at pick No. 5, they could have landed quarterback Kerry Collins, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, Hall of Fame cornerback Ty Law, or Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks.

But, the Bengals were aggressive and went for the seemingly can’t miss running back product out of Penn State. Maybe he could have been the player they were hoping for, but injuries prevented any chance of that happening.

The trade to move up to take Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 is easily one of the most disappointing trades Cincinnati ever made.

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