For seven seasons, Carson Palmer was the face of the Cincinnati Bengals, leading them to two playoff appearances and earning two Pro Bowl trips before the parties endured an ugly split last year.
Returning to Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since he was traded to Oakland, Palmer looks to help the Raiders avoid a fourth straight loss and keep the Bengals from a third consecutive victory Sunday.
A Heisman Trophy winner at Southern California, Palmer was the first overall pick by Cincinnati in 2003. He led the Bengals to AFC North titles in 2005 and 2009, but after a 4-12 season in 2010, Palmer wanted out. Ownership refused to trade him, so Palmer held out and stood away from the team before he was finally dealt to Oakland in the middle of last season for a 2012 first-round pick and 2013 conditional selection.
Palmer has naturally tried to downplay his return, especially since the Raiders (3-7) are looking to avoid their first four-game skid since Oct. 26-Nov. 16, 2008.