Carson Palmer was traded earlier today to the Oakland Raiders for a reported 1st round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013. The conditional pick is suggested to be either a 1st or 2nd round draft choice, depending on whether or not the Raiders make the playoffs.
Bengals owner Mike Brown has repeatedly said in the past that he would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever trade Palmer, who has sat out the season in protest after demanding to be moved. He has apparently changed his tune, because when a Raiders rep shows up on your doorstep with the draft equivalent of a suitcase full of Benjamins, that's just what you do.
Among other things, this puts an end to a year's worth of speculation in a Cincinnati-Seattle trade for Palmer's services ranging back to the lockout, where the most common rumored price was a 5th rounder and a conditional 3rd, which seemed reasonable at the time for a veteran QB who seemed bound and determined to sit out the season if he didn't get what he wanted. It was just his bad luck to work for Mike Brown, for whom the word 'intractable' seems less than adequate. That same trade hype has continued for the Seahawks all season with pundits looking for an alternate answer to the struggling Tarvaris Jackson behind center.
The Raiders have been putting up a surprising amount of wins this season, but have struggled for stability at the QB position, splitting time between castoff QBs Kyle Boller and Jason Campbell, both of whom were traded to the Raiders earlier this year. Campbell suffered a collarbone injury likely to end his season earlier this week against the Browns and Boller has struggled mightily at backup. The Raiders' other notable QB talent, Terrelle Pryor, is just a week removed from a five-game suspension imposed at the end of his college career, when he was selected in the supplemental draft for a 3rd round draft choice.
Palmer taking the black and being sent to man the Wall against the White Walkers and the enemies of the realm leaves four QBs on the Raiders roster, so it's almost certain that Campbell will be placed on the I.R. And a definite good luck to Palmer, who has skipped the Bengals preseason workups and has not been seen at any team functions all year and is now expected to be the savior of a mediocre-bordering-on-average franchise. And nothing builds up expectations quite like being traded for a pair of 1st rounders.
It's pretty safe to say that the Raiders overpaid to fill this position, especially for a QB on the wrong side of thirty and is certainly not expected to be the future of any rebuilding effort. But pickings at QB at this point in the season are slim as always, and with the Raiders' surprising record so far, it's possible that an above average, steady veteran behind center could get them a back door seat into the playoffs. And make no mistake, Palmer is above average; certainly an improvement over anyone else the Raiders can field at this point, healthy or otherwise, and probably the best QB in proto-quasi-sorta-kinda free agency. But man... two 1st round choices is a lot to pay for someone unless you expect them to hold down Pro Bowl numbers over the next decade. And among other things, this safely puts the Raiders out of reach for a top draw QB prospect in the coming draft, for lack of ammunition if nothing else.
Does anybody else have any thoughts on this? Did the Raiders overpay or did they shell out for the best QB they could find? Is Palmer a long-term solution in Oakland or will they cut bait with him after a year or two, leaving him the latest in a string of QB casualties for the Raiders that have come and gone?