I don’t want to call it a Brett Favre-like stunt, because poor Carson Palmer is only 31 years old and is only “retiring” because he’s so frustrated with the Bengals’ penny-pinching, amateur-hour approach that he’d rather watch Anderson Cooper’s new daytime talk show than spend time playing football in Cincinnati. But there are murmurs out of Hamilton County that Palmer could be considering a return to work.

From ESPN.com:

A Cincinnati Bengals front office source said quarterback Carson Palmer was at Paul Brown Stadium in late July and met with owner/GM Mike Brown, according to ESPN’s Bob Holtzman.

Bengals front office sources told Holtzman it is possible Palmer could report to the Bengals next week. The 31-year-old Palmer has never filed retirement papers, so the team would be obligated to pay him or trade him.

Setting aside the rather perplexing idea that Palmer’s reported appearance at the team’s facility in July has somehow led to his return in September, this shouldn’t be surprising. I don’t care how much money the guy has in the bank, because once you’ve tasted the fame and the riches and the power of celebrity, you can’t leave it behind by choice. And I know, because I once met a rich and famous guy.

Like a typical 30-something-year-old, Palmer was probably tired of training camp anyway. He could┬ácome back now, force the stubborn Mike Brown to pay him $11.5 million to be either a starter or a backup or trade him and win this battle in a backwards way. But I still don’t realistically see it happening. Palmer is pissed at the franchise, especially after they cut his younger brother Jordan last weekend.

I get the feeling that Holtzman’s front office source is connecting dots that probably aren’t supposed to be connected. The existence of the dots may be noteworthy, and a Palmer return wouldn’t shock us, but it’s still very unlikely that Palmer dons orange in 2011.