NFL players are famous for downplaying every narrative that includes a revenge factor, but Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is a wonderful exception.
According to ESPN’s Coley Harvey, Palmer told reporters the upcoming Sunday Night Football contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, his former team, isn’t merely another game on the schedule.
Carson Palmer on a conference call with Bengals media: "This isn't just another game for me. I'm not going to lie to you."
— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) November 18, 2015
Cincinnati selected Palmer No. 1 overall in the 2003 NFL draft, and the USC product spent seven seasons leading the Bengals. His best year came in 2005, throwing for 32 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions.
Palmer led Cincinnati to a pair of playoff berths, though the Bengals didn’t advance past the Wild Card round. His tenure with the franchise ended unceremoniously, however.
Depending on your allegiance to the quarterback, Palmer’s exit from Cincinnati is debatable. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder arguably quit on the team, demanding a trade and refusing to report for training camp during the summer after the team drafted Andy Dalton.
Dalton’s immediate success allowed the Bengals to give up their desire for a return, and they shipped him to the Oakland Raiders. He spent two years in the Bay Area before getting traded to the Cardinals.
Over the last two seasons, Palmer has revitalized his career. Arizona is arguably the best team in the NFC, and Palmer is a key to that success.
The 35-year-old will have a chance to show his former team there’s plenty left in the tank when he takes the field Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET.