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Carson Palmer on Bengals tilt: 'Not just another game'

Carson Palmer won't lapse into cliches and jock-talk in advance of Sunday night's clash with the Cincinnati organization that shipped him to the Oakland Raiders after a 2011 staredown with Bengals owner Mike Brown.

"It's not just another game," Palmer said Wednesday, via Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I'm not going to bore you with that. There is definitely a lot on this one for me in particular."

Palmer acknowledged to NFL Media columnist Michael Silver in September that he still holds ill feelings about the situation in which the disenfranchised quarterback walked away from football to force his way out of Cincinnati.

"I took an owner head-on, you know?" Palmer said. "That's shunned in this league, and people don't like it -- and the NFL definitely doesn't like it. That's hurt me a lot, and I've been bounced around pretty good since it happened."

Neither Palmer nor Brown has revealed what went on behind the scenes to instigate the standoff.

Brown eventually capitulated, flipping Palmer to then-Raiders head coach Hue Jackson in a high-profile transaction that Jackson hyped at the time as the "the greatest trade in football."

"I have an odd feeling for Carson Palmer. I like Carson Palmer personally. I did when he was here," Brown said in an interview with FOX Sports' Alex Marvez this week. "I regret it broke apart the way it did. ... I think he is a great passer. He really is. He's a special passer, very accurate. I look at him play and I see the player that we had when he was here. When he's on and playing the way he can play, he is a big-time winning quarterback."

Palmer remains reluctant to engage in a "he-said, she-said" situation regarding the events that led to his departure.

"We obviously disagreed and it ended in a very colorful, heated argument," explained Palmer, who reiterated his intention to tell his side of the story when "it's appropriate."

For all of the acrimony, the divorce has had an ameliorative effect on all parties involved.

The Bengals have emerged as one of the NFL's model organizations over the past half-decade.

With coach Marvin Lewis and personnel director Duke Tobin pulling the strings of the football operations, the revamped front office selected current MVP candidate Andy Dalton as Palmer's replacement before drafting starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and star scatback Giovani Bernard with the picks acquired in the blockbuster trade.

Run out of Oakland after "losing" the Palmer deal, Jackson landed on his feet in Cincinnati. Now running the offense for a title contender, Jackson will be a hot head-coaching commodity in January.

Brown was declared a genius after Dalton outplayed his counterpart while the Bengals dismantled the Raiders in Palmer's 2012 homecoming.

Three years later, a reinvigorated Palmer will enter the battle stronger than ever.

Recently hailed as a "godsend" for the surging Cardinals organization, Palmer is vying with Dalton, Tom Brady and Cam Newton for MVP honors while playing at the highest level of his 12-year career.

"He hasn't said a word," Larry Fitzgerald told ESPN's Ed Werder, "but we want to play well for him."

It's safe to say Palmer will be waiting all week for Sunday night.

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