Novelty of playing Bengals gone for Palmer


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's been three seasons since Carson Palmer's ugly divorce from the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback has moved on.

But that doesn't mean he hasn't reminisced a time or two about the good times and the bad during his eight years in Southern Ohio.

“Any time you spend years somewhere you have lots of memories,” he said. “You meet a lot of good people along the way. This is now the third place I've played and (I've) met a lot of good people along my stays in each place.”

Not one memory stands out from eight years as a Bengal, Palmer said this week. But he's about to make another one Sunday night, when Cincinnati travels to Arizona for both teams' third preseason game. Palmer's history as a Bengal, which started as the No. 1 overall pick in 2003 and ended with a messy split-up that included Palmer threatening retirement before he was traded to Oakland in 2011, will likely be a topic of discussion among TV announcers.

While Palmer has moved on, so have the Bengals. They went to the playoffs each of the past three years with quarterback Andy Dalton at the helm, and Palmer ended up in Arizona after a year and a half in Oakland. Last season, Palmer threw a career high 4,274 yards -- his second straight 4,000-yard season -- re-establishing himself as a big-armed quarterback.

The novelty of playing his former team has already worn off. Palmer lost to the Bengals with the Raiders in 2012.

Palmer didn't sound bitter or angry this week. He sounded like a veteran who understands playing an old team is part of the job.

“Any time you have a chance to play a team that you used to play for and you think of especially when you played there, you think of all the times you're in that home locker room and what it's like to be in that facility and just around the coaches and stuff,” Palmer said. “You have memories of that.

“You think about the good, the bad, the ugly,” Palmer added. “More often, you think about the good but you just know what it's like being on that sideline, playing for that organization. I think that's what's special about it."

But Palmer made sure to add a qualifier.

"But it's a preseason game," he said.