Maybe one day there will come a day when Carson Palmer won't be one of the biggest villains (or turncoats) in the region. Right now there's too much bitterness on how (and when) he left and realistically, that emotion won't dissolve until the Bengals one-up the Palmer era.
But there are some that realize Palmer's departure may have helped accelerate into motion a revitalization and remodeling project to redevelop the Cincinnati Bengals. A benefit to save the franchise? Maybe that's a slightly dramatic statement, but the Bengals are have never been a better team.
We're not necessarily talking about LeBron James and Cleveland here either. But Palmer is as close to an example of that as anyone.
And he'd like to come back.
Not to play football. But he holds no ill-will against the city, where he still owns property.
"I loved living there," Palmer told AZCentral.com. "I loved hunting there. I loved fishing there. I still have property there that I can’t wait to go back to."
Former teammate Frostee Rucker, who only played one season with the Cleveland Browns after originally signing a five-year contract worth $20.5 million, signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason. In an obvious effort to show sympathy (or at least empathy) for Palmer, Rucker stood behind his quarterback.
"You’re the first overall pick and you’re the head of the franchise and what you’re asking for from ownership — or whoever it may be — wasn’t supplying him with what he needed," Rucker said. "He had his issues for a while, and they weren’t being addressed."
In the end, Palmer said one day that he'll talk about why he left.
"There’s going to be a time and place for me to speak my piece on that," Palmer told azcentral sports. "Now is not the time, but there definitely will be a time when I’ll talk.
But in reality, we're well on our way to not really caring anyway.