The Bengals quarterback, who in a radio interview earlier this month seemingly dismissed the wide receiver who has skipped the team's offseason workouts, softened his stance in another radio interview.
"He's a damn good receiver -- that's obvious, everybody knows that -- but the guys that are working here and busting their butt here deserve a shot," Palmer said on Fox Sports Radio's Petros and Money Show on Thursday. "When he shows up he'll show up and hopefully he's in great shape and he's ready to play.
"But I never once said anything about not wanting him here and not needing him. He's a Pro Bowl receiver. He's put up a ton of yards. He's extremely dangerous to cover. We would love him when he comes here, but he's not here right now."
Earlier this month, in an interview with NFL Sirius Radio, Palmer seemed to imply that the Bengals didn't need Ochocinco.
When asked what he expects out of Ochocinco this season, Palmer told NFL Sirius Radio: "Well, I really don't know. I haven't talked to him. I haven't talked to anybody that has talked to him. He wasn't here last year so I'm expecting him not to be here at all this year. Last year I think he was here for the mandatory camp but didn't participate in it. So I'm planning on him not being here just because he hasn't been here yet."
Ochocinco is training in Los Angeles, and is expected to attend the Bengals' mandatory minicamp June 18-20.