Carson Palmer, who when last seen was telling Seahawks fans to suck it, will play his former team this weekend. Actually, he plays his former, former team (forgot all about the Oakland years). You’d be forgiven for misremembering that Palmer once lived and played in Cincinnati — his and his team’s play during that time is quite forgettable. However, what was unforgettable is how Palmer left following the 2010 season. A refresher, courtesy the Washington Post:
“Palmer asked to be traded after that lousy 2010 season, a request turned down by Bengals owner Mike Brown. This prompted Palmer to tell a friend, according to a Cincinnati television station, that he “will never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again. I have $80 million in the bank. I don’t have to play football for money. I’ll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I’m prepared to live my life.”
After some back and forth, and some drafting (Andy Dalton), and a 6-2 start to the 2011 season, Palmer finally got traded. To Oakland. (LOL, Take that Palmer!) That Oakland stint didn’t go so well either, and now Palmer plies his trade in Arizona.
However, today we learned that football players have memories too (for the time being). According to NFL reporter Omar Ruiz, an anonymous Bengals player who played alongside Palmer — all of five years and two teams ago in Palmer’s case — has accused the now-Cardinals quarterback of being — gasp! — a quitter. From Ruiz:
— Omar Ruiz (@OmarDRuiz) November 18, 2015
Palmer hasn’t responded to allegations of his lack of effort in 2010, but he did surprisingly admit to what we already knew — that being beating his former team’s ass means something to him: “It’s not just another game, Palmer said. “I’m not going to bore you with that. There is definitely a lot on this one for me in particular.”
Of course, the owner of the Bengals was asked to offer his two cents on Palmer. Nothing he said was interesting, but here are his words anyway:
“We sat here in the office on a couple of occasions and argued about what the future should be for him and us,” Brown said. “He would say to me, ‘Oh no. I’m all beat up. I’ll be lucky to play another year or two,’ which I didn’t take to heart.
“I like Carson Palmer personally. I did when he was here. I regret it broke apart the way it did. I don’t want him to beat us any more than he wants us to beat him.”
Palmer responded to Brown’s comments, but the gist of it is that he disagrees.
Anyway, though the Palmer storyline is cute and all, it still can’t quite overshadow the magnitude of Sunday. These two teams share a combined record of 15-3. This should be a good-ass game.