Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Oct 2011

Carson Palmer to the Raiders

Here is your deadline blockbuster: The Raiders acquired Carson Palmer from the Bengals for their 2012 first-round pick and a conditional pick in 2013 that could also be a first-rounder. According to Chris Mortensen, the 2013 pick is a first-rounder if the Raiders win a playoff game in 2011, if not, it is a second-rounder.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 18 Oct 2011

142 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2011, 9:44pm by Nathan


by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:15am

Official, according to Schefter, but no confirmation of the compensation on it.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:28am

The Raiders gave up their first round pick this year, and a conditional second round pick next year, that could turn into a first rounder. No word yet on the conditions. Probably if he's still on the team at the start of next season.

This leaves the Raiders with only a 5th round pick and a 6th round pick for this upcoming draft. I thought the Falcons had given away their future, but the Raiders just don't value first round picks like everybody else, do they?

Also, that is WAY to much for Palmer. I realize it was going to take a ransom to get him, but seriously, this is just robbery. The Raiders didn't need to give up that much to get somebody that is really not going to contribute in a meaningful way for a few weeks, and probably won't get you into the playoffs.

by Rivers McCown :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:40am

They'll have a couple of comp picks for Nnamdi and Miller, probably.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:47am

Ah, true. Actually, given the deal Nnamdi signed, they could seriously be looking at a third and a fifth, although I wouldn't be surprised if they got a 4th for him. But still, a 3, two 5s, and a 6. That's it. This reminds me of the Browns back when Derek Anderson almost took them to the playoffs: They had a great year, but had traded away most of their picks and only had like a 5th, and some change, and fell back to Earth right away.

by spenczar :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:45am

Was that really the reason the browns fell back to earth? My sense is that drafts only really start to impact a team, typically, in the second or third year. Even if you had zero draft picks one year, you'd probably only feel that a little later.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:22am

Overpaying for a former first-round pick who won the Heisman and has been showing signs of decline?

Al Davis lives!

by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:25am

Unconfirmed until he runs a 4.4 40.

by Marko :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:31pm

Not just a former first round pick who won the Heisman, a first overall pick who won the Heisman. Jim Plunkett 2.0.

by Jerry :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 6:08pm

Except that, IIRC, Plunkett was always a disappointment/victim-of-bad-teammates before he got to Oakland. Palmer has had some elite seasons.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:23am

It seems that Plunkett wasn't highly thought of at the time, but he was essentially league average by ANY/A (ANY/A+ near 100) in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, and 1977 before going to Oakland.

by Jerry :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:53am

Thanks for doing the research. "Essentially league average" qualifies as disappointing for a first overall pick; Palmer's record to this point has been better.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:46pm

He wasn't anything special after going to Oakland either. Right place / Right time guy.

by Guido Merkens :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:29am

Palmer is 31 years old, has a significant recent injury history, and hasn't had a passer rating above 87 or AY/A above 6.5 in five years. There is no way he's worth one first-rounder, let alone two.

Edit: players with seasons better than Palmer in the last five years (by AY/A) include Derek Anderson, Seneca Wallace, Jon Kitna, Matt Cassell, Jeff Garcia, and Trent Edwards.

by NegativeChirality (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:55pm

Truly, that is elite company.

by xtimmygx :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 8:05pm

By the same measure that you used to put those players above Carson Palmer, you could also put them above Drew Brees, Big Ben, and almost Peyton Manning. These are based on just taking a quick look at the list. So I guess I'm not too surprised that those players best seasons, might have been slightly better than some elite players worst seasons. Not saying that Carson Palmer is elite, just saying that maybe it isn't as bad as your stat makes it seem.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 2:04pm

I agree. I think he's older than many people realize. He hasn't exactly been elite since passing 30. He's older than the man he's replacing in Campbell. Some QBs have there best seasons into their early 30s, some seem to lose a lot as their legs go. Which one is Palmer? No sure but I am sure, this can only turn out to be a win if the Raiders win now because it is certain Palmer is not going to around in the league for any rebuilding cycle later.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:25am

I don't see how Palmer is worth a first at this stage, even though he should be reasonably familiar with Jackson's scheme.

The Bengals could be rounding into a decent side, Pittsburgh and Baltimore rely on a lot of veterans nearing the end of their careers. If Dalton can continue to produce in Jay Gruden's offense, they're looking pretty good.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:33am

I have no doubt Mike Brown can turn these additional draft picks into at-best marginal mediocrity for years to come.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:48pm

I don't know...what's the upgrade Palmer provides over Kyle Boller? I think the Raiders overpaid significantly, but I think Palmer was probably worth a 1st to that organization. The Raiders seem to have a window to win the AFC West for a few years.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:26am

Mystery double post.

by Sources (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:25am

Raiders are also in negotiation with the Bengals to acquire Dan Wilkinson, Tony McGee, and Darnay Scott. Compensation for said players not known at this time.

by are-tee :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:27am

Trading a first-round pick for Palmer is just plain crazy - especially now that there's a rookie salary cap, which makes first-rounders more valuable.

And then what do they do with Campbell when he's healthy again?

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:30am

Campbell is in the last year of his contract. I seriously thought he had turned a corner and all, and that he finally found a team that appreciated him, but I guess not.

by Misty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:45pm

Makes 1st rounders more valuable?

Sorry, the Raiders did the deal in order to reach the playoffs this year, which means the pick will be higher than 20. The rookie salary cap has no positive implications on these draft positions (anything higher than 10). In fact, the shorter contract duration actually has a slight negative impact on these slots.

I think Carson can still play, a 1st and a 2nd seem fair. I guess it will only be 1st and 1st if the Raiders win with Carson, which in fact will mean it was a good deal for both sides.

I don't like the Raiders, but the decisions they have made the past two years, and esp. with Hue Jackson as HC, seem very sanid. I guess these old 40 time jokes are a bit off these days ...

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:30pm

The point isn't really whether this trade might work out in the (very) short term. (I don't think it will, but it might.) The point is the question of whether or not anyone associated with the Raiders knows anything about player market value, or negotiating skills. When you're dumping your holdouts/malcontents like Randy Moss for 4th-rounders but you're willing to take the other team's for whatever their initial demands are, you've got a bit of an inefficiency problem.

by smutsboy :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:35pm

I don't see by what metric that is a reasonable price for an aging, injury prone QB who was never that great to begin with.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:01pm

He's not that great anymore (although he's not horrible). But let's not re-write history. Palmer was 2-3-6 in DYAR from 2005-2007. He was great at one point.

I think he'll be better in Oakland than he was the last year in Cincy. His receivers are better. His o-line is playing well. He has a really dynamic running game. The Raiders over-paid, but I think Palmer will be successful.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:01pm

Yeah, he was great. He's been consistenly hurt since, and is clearly not the same guy.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:35pm

Agreed. What I find interesting is we're about to get a small glimpse into the psychology of the game. Not that Cincinnati has always fielded a bad team, but their franchise in recent years has resembled a traveling sideshow. Did that hold the franchise back? Did it hold Palmer back? How much do the interpersonal relationships, bad blood, and high profile distractions detract from performance? Nothing is going to be determined conclusively since too many variables are moving and there's nothing like a controlled experiment, but I do think it'll be entertaining to watch.

by GlennW :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 2:18pm

By my observation Palmer's arm just physically isn't nearly what it once was. That's another test/experiment to observe going forward.

by rk (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:54pm

"...seem very sanid."

I agree with this perfectly cromulent statement.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:00pm

There were several quarterbacks dealt this year that are better players than Palmer at this point. They were alls significantly cheaper (Kolb for example)

by Lance :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:31am

This seems like a ridiculous deal for both the Raiders and for Palmer. Two first rounders certainly seems too high-- entering his eighth season, how much longer can he continue to play at a high level? Would anyone trade two first rounders for Philip Rivers, who's had a better career and the same playing experience?

As for Palmer, if he was complaining that he was playing for a dysfunctional team with bad ownership and management, then why would he to go a dysfunctional team with bad ownership and management?

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:35am

Well its not like he has a choice on where he was going, it was always going to be a trade if anything. Also, I think he knows that if he doesn't show up to the Raiders, then he will never play again. Besides, its not the Bengals. I know the Raiders don't seem like a huge upgrade, but IT'S NOT THE BENGALS!!!

by Lance :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:59am

"Well its not like he has a choice on where he was going, it was always going to be a trade if anything."

Sure, but presumably the Raiders don't make this deal without having some verbal agreement from Palmer that he'll actually suit up. He's just jumped out of the frying pan, but I'm not convinced that the fire is going to be any better.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:03pm

If I needed a quarterback I'd trade two firsts for Rivers as quickly as I could fill out the necessary paperwork.

by Nathan :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:08pm

Yeah, not a great example. A franchise QB (which Rivers certainly is) means you don't have to pick a developmental QB every single year and hope he works out). In the long term, the picks you save are worth the 2 first rounders unless your offensive line is completely in shambles and they'd just get killed anyway.

I doubt there are many QB-less teams who wouldn't trade 2 1sts for Rivers. That being said, this is still an extremely suspect trade for Oakland, because Carson Palmer at this point in his career, is no Philip Rivers.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:19pm

Yeah, not a great example. A franchise QB (which Rivers certainly is) means you don't have to pick a developmental QB every single year and hope he works out). In the long term, the picks you save are worth the 2 first rounders unless your offensive line is completely in shambles and they'd just get killed anyway.

So, basically the Bears, then?

Something I don't see enough analysis of is that not all first round picks are created equal. The Raiders are probably going to be picking in the bottom half the first round in 2012, right? Presumably Palmer will make then better -- and if he doesn't it likely won't lead to the conditional pick being in the first round in 2013 I'm assuming.

So best case for the Raiders is that Palmer gets them to the playoffs this year and they give up a pick in the 20th range 2 years in a row.

Worst case scenario is that Palmer is terrible, they miss the playoffs, and they give up a pick in the 10 to 15 range in 2012, followed by the (lets say) 40 to 45th pick in 2013. That's a high price, but not franchise crushing.

by Lance :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:22pm

Perhaps I'm too conservative, then. It seems like a guy who's 32 is just about to begin declining and 'd rather have some first-rounders than a guy who's going to decline-- even if that guy is a franchise quarterback (which was the point of my example). Yes, it could save draft picks down the line if you blunder them. I guess I was assuming that I wouldn't blunder my picks.

by Nathan :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:30pm

No, you're totally right about Palmer. He's 31, has been out of football, has already started to decline, and has had throwing arm issues.

You're just wrong about Rivers. He's 29, is just hitting his physical peak, and conservatively should have 4-5 good years left in him.

by Lance :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:42pm

OH. For some reason, I had Rivers pegged as being the same age. Yes, if Rivers isn't even 30 yet, then that changes the equation somewhat-- I withdraw my comparison. My point was to suggest that it would be hard to take a guy at Palmer's age but who is noticeably better for two first rounders. I mistakenly thought that Rivers and Palmer were the same age.

by Tom M. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:03pm

"just about to begin declining" is a pretty generous description of Palmer's career arc; it's been about a half-decade since he was last a top-tier QB. Now it would be a stretch for a lot of people to include him in their top 20.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:31am

What happened to Bruce Gradkowski? I thought he was still on the Raiders.

by dbt :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:38am

Ironically enough -- backing up Dalton in Cinci.

by VTpowderhound (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:38am

It's waaaay too high of a price for a player in the twilight of his career, but given the positive correlation between watching Kyle Boller play and the suicide rate in the Bay Area, the Raiders had to do this deal.

by Unregistered Rob (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:38am

Mike Brown, swindler. I am...confused. Nothing is real anymore!

by Harris :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:49am

I'm going to attribute this more to the Raiders' desperation and stupidity than to Mike Brown's cleverness. The team's penchant for terrible trades didn't die with Count Al.

Hail Hydra!

by Mash Wilson (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:40am

Gradkowski was last spotted on the Bengals, actually, far as I know.

Two first round picks for Palmer's corpse is lunacy. Oy. And just when I hoped the Raiders were on the verge of relevance again....

Q. How long has it been since the last time a team besides the Patriots, Steelers or Colts won the AFC Championship?
A. The last team to do it was the Raiders.

by andrew :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:04pm

sniped him in one of my fantasy leagues. Is he a better play vs the chiefs (if he starts) than Rivers vs the Jets?

by markslack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm

Is this a real question?

If so, no.

by snoopy369 :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:05pm

This does seem like overpaying, but do think about it from OAK's perspective. They are in significant competition for a playoff spot for the first time in years, and could even win the AFC West if they continue to perform effectively. They also have a pretty good WR corps that was winning with Jason Campbell, who is not much over a replacement level QB.

If they continue with Kyle Boller, they will likely finish 8-8 or so, miss the playoffs again, and have ... the same record to look forward to next year more than likely.

So why not go all in, see if Palmer can get you five or six weeks of performance at least (Campbell should be back around then)? They really need to win now, in order to get their new stadium (either in OAK, LA, or frankly Omaha would be better than what they have now). Thus the return on investment here is substantial, beyond simply the QB they're getting. If it doesn't pay off and Carson's terrible, well, they're in the same position as they were before, but one fewer first round picks to blow on some speedy WR that isn't good at football.

by Anonymous(not that one) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:14pm

Carson palmer has been average to bad for the past 4 years. How do NFL teams not realize these retreads are shit(See McNabb, or BOller)

by RickD :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:15pm

Boller cannot be a retread. He was never a tread to begin with!

by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:18pm

Mike Brown does something RIGHT?

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:31pm

I had the same thought. No way the Bengals would have gotten this much for Palmer if they'd traded him this past offseason. I'd be tempted to give Brown credit for this if I thought for one second that he planned it. Reality is that he made a stupid move out of spite, and then got a lifeline in the form of a contending team suffering a major injury to its QB right before the trade deadline. That's dumb luck, not skill.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:20pm

I hear that Al pulled this one only after Elvis strongly vouched for Palmer

When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack

by morganja :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:40pm

Jimmy Clausen is available for only a first and a second. Just saying.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:45pm

Oh, not that much, I'm pretty sure most Panthers fans would trade Jimmy for a single, steaming #2.

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:09pm

That was great! Milkman, you are older than I thought. Come to think of it, when was the last time I saw a milkman?

by Geronimo (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:45pm

Is David Garrard 300 lbs. now or something?

Garrard, I'm guessing, is right now better than Palmer, or at least Palmer's equal, and would be available without giving up draft picks.

Stunning win for the Bengals if this turns out to happen.

by Nathan :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:49pm

Bad back.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:50pm

The Raiders called him before their game was over on Sunday, but he told them he was going through with back surgery and wasn't going to be available this year.

by Formersd (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:52pm

Garrard is scheduled for back surgery, so he wasn't available to play immediately.

by Geronimo (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 12:57pm

Oops, I missed that story before commenting. Thanks for the corrections, amigos.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:11pm

Worth mentioning, because it's a very strange story. Garrard's agent has come out blasting the Jags for supposedly missing/misdiagnosing this back injury, apparently before he was released and in his exit physical. Supposedly, he was on the way to work out with the Raiders when he discovered this injury needed immediate surgery. A serious back injury that you wouldn't be painfully aware of? SStranger still is the fact Garrard said he turned down an offer from the Dolphins because they wanted him to backup Henne and he'd said during camp with the Jags that his back was just fine. Did he somehow injury it after being released? Could he actually have been so dumb as to let the Jags off the hook if he knew it was hurt while playing for them? You'd have thought after being released the way he was that he wouldn't have taken their word for anything.

by erniecohen :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:25pm

I think we need details on the conditional pick. It better be very, very conditional, or this is a bit too expensive.

by tractor :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:30pm

Conditional is a 2nd rounder, will be a 1st if Raiders win a playoff game.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:35pm

If there wasn't a conditional pick at all, this would still be too expensive.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:38pm

Super Bowl 46 MCP Carson Palmer. Will havr couple tocky games early but qill right ship and lead tema all the way. Best in season acquoaition sincd M. Haynes 1983

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:38pm

Super Bowl 46 MCP Carson Palmer. Will havr couple tocky games early but qill right ship and lead tema all the way. Best in season acquoaition sincd M. Haynes 1983

by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 1:44pm

Love ya big dog. But that is some crazy stuff you are writing.

by justaguy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:14pm

From http://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2011/raiders-pushing-hard-... Post #10
> by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/17/2011 - 1:11pm
> Palmer crap qb. Needds to stah retirwd and run merry go rounf
> Santa Monica Pier iff get bored. ...

Is poster drunk?

Seriously, the black-hole-colored glasses on an otherwise football-knowledgable personna schtick is some of my favorire performance art, but the self-contradiction is a little jarring.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:35pm

Was crappy with cinc last couplr yeaes but thinking about thos more Palmer excekksnt fit for Raiders. Always possiblr to change minf whixh happen today.

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:16pm

Yes RJ, if Palmer's canon arm comes back (big if) then he is a great fit for your Raiders!

by MJK :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:02pm

OK, at first I thought this was crazy, until I saw that Campbell was injured and that Garrard needed back surgery.

Still, is Palmer really two first rounders worth better than Kyle Boller? (I'm not questioning that he is better than Boller, just not that much better). Remember, he's out of shape and hasn't played well lately. And the way Dalton is playing this year, it's hard to blame all of that on the Cincy organization.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:17pm

For your first question: I think Colt McCoy is two first rounders better then Kyle Boller. Heck, Alex Smith is just about two first rounders better then Kyle Boller.

But in response to Palmer blaming the organization for all the nonsense that has happened, I think it's very easy to blame the organization. For years they allowed players to do whatever they wanted, the didn't do anything to stop Ochocinco, all the criminals they brought in, etc... The list could go on.

Don't be fooled by the resurgence this year: Mike Brown has done all this out of spite for Carson Palmer, making him look like the bad guy. He's only finally building up a good team because the spotlight was on him. He's only trying to make Palmer look like the crybaby, when in reality, I can't believe Palmer didn't do this sooner.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:09pm

Stop OchoCinco? From what? Dyeing his hair?

All the reports are that hes a model lockeroom presense.

by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:39pm

The locker room is all well and good, but how is he on a catwalk?

by GlennW :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 2:29pm

Ochocinco (Johnson at the time) wasn't a "model lockerroom presence" when he came after Marvin Lewis at halftime of the 2005-season playoff game against the Steelers. I don't think he's a bad guy in general, but in Cincy there were in-game emotional outbursts (usually of the typical "I'm not getting the ball enough" variety) that weren't conducive to winning. God knows that Lewis had his problems with Ocho, plenty of them expressed publicly. Often you'll hear a coach say something like "that's just Chad being Chad" in brushing off such behavior (even sincerely), but that was often not the case with Lewis.

by rageon :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:31pm

Still, is Palmer really two first rounders worth better than Kyle Boller?

I suppose it depends on what you think the making the playoffs is worth. I think they probably make it with Palmer, and probably don't with Boller.

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:56pm

And that's the rub with this conditional pick. I would argue that the Raiders are worse off in the long run by slipping into the playoffs and winning this one playoff game to bump the second pick to a 1st-rounder. But maybe the franchise and the fanbase really are that crazy desperate for any kind of success, such that this modest goal is worth the price. Smart franchises are thinking bigger and further than this, imo.

by JoeHova :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:57pm

How much bigger can you get than winning playoff games? If you can win one, you can win 3 or 4, as various lower seeded teams have shown recently. I don't necessarily think this is a good move but if they make some noise in the playoffs, it will be difficult to call it a bad one, even if they don't end up winning the Super Bowl. Any team would trade a 1st rounder for a 2nd rounder for an opportunity to be 2 or 3 wins from the NFL title. I don't think a team would even think twice about it.

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:21pm

Point taken about the simple swap of a 1st-rounder for a 2nd-rounder to make the playoffs just to have a chance at the Super Bowl. I just think that for a team in the Raiders' current situation, adding this pick on top of the guaranteed 1st-rounder is way too much to give up on such a gamble. I'm of the philosophy that any trade by a middling contender should make sense for 5 years, not one or two. Because that's the best way to maximize your chances at such playoff opportunities, not the go-for-broke approach that has left the Raiders out of the playoffs for going on 10 years now. Is anybody even confident that Carson Palmer will play well this season after being thrown into the fire in the middle of a season? I'm not.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:30pm

Apparently, the 2nd rounder only becomes a 1st if the Raiders win a DIVISIONAL ROUND game, so they have to make the AFC Championship Game to make that a 2nd round pick. I saw this on PFT>

by ChicagoRaider :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 9:21am

The Raiders need a winning season or a playoff appearance much more than the typical middling contender. For the health of the franchise as a business, a playoff appearance will reinvigorate the fan base. A franchise needs more than DVOA.

by ghinterm :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:05pm

Maybe it is just because I'm a Vikings fan, but this has a little Herschel Walker Trade feel to it. It won't be quite so lopsided since Cincinnati will probably botch their end of the deal and it's not three years of first and second draft choices.

by Misty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:58pm

You better look up the Herschel Walker deal ... that did include a boatload of players, not two picks.

Better compare it to what the Giants gave up for Eli, and that won the Giants a SB.

Sure it is a gamble. Hell, it is all about putting your team in a decent position. They probably won't win a SB with or without Carson. But they are in a better shape than they were yesterday.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:00pm

Or, maybe the Giants would have won two Super Bowls with Rivers/Roethlisberger and the other players they would have drafted had they kept their picks.

In which case what the Giants gave up for Eli cost them a SB.

I agree with your other point. In a single-elimination playoff format, all you have to do is get in. Weren't the last two SB Champs the #6 seeds in their conferences?

by ghinterm :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 4:00pm

I did look it up which just brought up more trauma. My comparison was that it was a case of overpaying with your future in order to win now.

I do have my doubts that the Raiders are close enough to a Super Bowl to do this, particularly with their shortage of picks next year, but good luck to them.

by bubqr :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:06pm

I can't remember a worse trade recently, can someone help me ? I had doubts about the Roy Williams trade, thought Roy was overhyped, but didn't think it was close to this one in terms of robbery.

by R Johnston (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:20pm

Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells and the $86,000,000 left on his contract. Someone must have had pictures of the Angels' GM diddling prepubescent boys for that trade to happen. Worst trade in the history of sports. But if you stick to football they don't get worse than this palmer trade in recent years.

by Jim C. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:59pm

"Worst trade in the history of sports." Oh ye of short memory. Try Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch straight up for Glenn Davis.

by apk3000 :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:14pm

IIRC that made sense at the time. Schilling was an average reliever at the time. Davis' freak injury turned it into the debacle that it was.

by R Johnston (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:23pm

True. And even if that trade didn't make sense at the time, the Angels overpaid for Vernon Wells by about $80,000,000 plus the value of two years of pre-free-agency Mike Napoli. The Angels essentially lit $100,000,000 on fire, and everyone knew it the day the trade was made.

by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 11:40am

Herschel Walker to Vikings trade, anyone?

Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to Yankees?

by tuluse :: Sat, 10/22/2011 - 8:34pm

You have a strange definition of recently.

by Nathan :: Sat, 10/22/2011 - 9:44pm

LionInAZ is actually a colony of Quaking Aspen.

by BJR :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 6:29am

Maybe wait and see how it pans out first?

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:01pm

Take your pick from the 2007 Patriots WR acquisitions.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 2:31pm

Sorry fir doubler

by Mash Wilson (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:04pm

I find it hard to believe Kyle Orton couldn't be had from the Broncos for only one first-rounder. If even that.

I also find it hard to believe Carson Palmer is going to be any better now or going forward than Kyle Orton. There's a strong possibility he will be worse.

"Better than Kyle Boller" is not a good reason to trade two freakin' first-round picks. It's a bad move. The Raiders are overvaluing Palmer and undervaluing draft picks.

by Joe T. :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:39pm

Kyle Orton probably could be had for a 1st rounder. Just not a division rival's first rounder.

by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:04pm

Not only that, but I don't think the Raiders would ever deal with the Broncos. Especially since Davis just died. That would be like spitting on his face at his funeral, then burying him face down.

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:09pm

I've never understood this logic. If you think you're giving up a player who's never quite going to cut it and that you're getting the better of the deal, you're actually better off trading the player *inside* the division than outside. Under those (and only those) circumstances the only reason not to do so is cowardice, not having the courage of your convictions because "oh, this would make me look really bad if it doesn't work out". Which is why a Bill Belichick will gladly trade a Drew Bledsoe within the division, but other GMs/coaches won't.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:12pm

Schefter et. al. reported that the Broncos made Orton available to the Raiders, and certainly not for a 1st rounder -- probably a 3rd or so. One hang-up is that Orton wants a contract extension to relieve his sore neck (from constantly looking over his shoulder). Orton's salary versus the Raiders' cap room was also reported to be an obstacle, but it sure didn't hinder the acquisition of Palmer, who has a bigger number.

Had Denver been able to trade Orton to the Raiders for a 1st, he likely would have helicoptered around the office in joy.

by TTP (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:08pm

The Raiders have spent a ton of draft picks on QBs recently:

Palmer: 2012 1st & 2013 1st or 2nd
Pryor: 2012 3rd
Campbell: 2012 4th


by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 3:45pm

The price appears high for the Raiders' long-term prospects on the field. I think as a business matter getting a playoff appearance this year would be valuable. It would certainly be taken by the family as vindicating Al Davis' moves in recent times.

A playoff appearance (and being on track for one) would boost attendance for a few years. It would make the Raiders more attractive to Los Angeles. It would increase the Raiders' bargaining power for a Bay Area stadium deal. And it could up player performance, because extra sacrifice may be easier with the playoffs in the picture.

It would be good if Heyward-Bey could continue to have a good year after struggling for so long. Without a decent QB, that will not happen. That would be like getting a first-round pick (one they already used and many thought completely lost).

Could Palmer have been had for less? Almost certainly under other circumstances. But the Raiders are facing this year cratering without Palmer, have had two days to deal, and are facing giving up a lot to in terms of player and fan morale. Not a decision I envy the ownership making.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:13pm

I remember everyone slagging the Raiders off after they traded a first round pick for Richard Seymour. In retrospect I give that trade to the Raiders if for no other reasons than defensive line having been a problem for the Pats ever since and Seymour's injury woes seem to have gone away and he is playing at a very high level.

Even with the lesser contracts for 1st rounders (which only really affects the top ten picks anyway so may not impact on the Raiders' pick next year) draft picks don't become gold dust overnight. Even two first round picks should only really be expected to produce one decent starter on average and a first and a second possibly not even that.

Charles Woodson wasn't too hot in Oakland for several years and is now a dominant defender in Green Bay. Sometimes a change of scenery gets the best out of a player.

Also Hue Jackson was coaching the receivers in Cincy back when Palmer was a top QB so there may be a comfort level there.

by RickD :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:24pm

The Seymour trade is definitely a win for the Raiders.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:05pm

Well, it's not a loss, but I also consider it a win for Belichick. With Seymour and Wilfork both coming up as free agents, the cost of the deal was one year of Seymour for a draft pick that could well have been #1 overall.

by Dan :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:22pm

From 2008-2010 there were 27 QBs who attempted at least 800 passes; Palmer ranks 22nd out of 27 in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt. Here are his neighbors on that list:

16 Jay Cutler 5.67
17 Matt Cassel 5.62
18 Jason Campbell 5.57
19 David Garrard 5.56
20 Kerry Collins 5.49
21 Shaun Hill 5.45
22 Carson Palmer 5.34
23 Jake Delhomme 4.98
24 Chad Henne 4.90

Orton is 13th with 6.00 ANY/A.

Another way to look at it: there were 65 QB seasons with at least 400 attempts from 2008-2010. Palmer's best year out of those 3 ranks 45th out of 65 in ANY/A with 5.54; Orton's is 30th with 6.40 ANY/A.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:29pm

Man, I wish the NFL had more deadline deals. This is just awesome.

Ok, the compensation seems a bit steep. Still, I think Palmer can still be a near-elite player. Even in his better Bengal years, his supporting cast was a bit screwed up. Sure, the Raiders also have some gaps, especially at receiver. But Palmer can be more than a mere game-manager behind a good running game. And, let's face it, he was BY FAR the Raiders best option. David Garrard? Trent Edwards?

On the Cincinnati side, the Bengals get two high-draft choices for an essentially squandered, and devalued, resource. Could this be a win-win for two of the most poorly managed franchises in the NFL?

My biggest concern on the Raiders side is the dearth of near-term draft picks. The draft is life-blood, and the Raiders are more anemic than Lucy Westenra.

This is a fun trade.

by John (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:54pm

Darn, why couldn't the Colts have traded Kerry Collins for a 1st or 2nd rounder?

Heck, if this is the going rate for a formerly-pretty good QB, let's trade Peyton Manning to the Raiders in a couple of years and get 4 1st round picks out of him.

(I kid. I think.)

by QQ (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:04pm

If Palmer is worth 2 1st Round picks, does that mean Rodgers is worth approximately 15-20 1st Round Picks?

by Craig in NS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 4:54pm

When is his contract due up?

Because I don't see any way he's not worth the compensation for signing away a franchise player....

by DEW (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:38pm

Addressing everything:

1. I'm amazed Mike Brown took his head out of his nether orifice long enough to accept this deal. A first and a conditional 1st/2nd for a guy who out-and-out refuses to play for you is an incredible deal by any measure. I'm just astonished Brown stopped cutting off his nose to spite Palmer long enough to make it happen.

2. The Raiders HAD to do something. They were a good team this year. The conference as a whole is NOT good. Their division is winnable, and the wild-card is also available even if they fall short of the Chargers. Saying that they were going to go forward with Kyle Boller or, worse yet, Terrelle Pryor would be giving the double middle-finger to their fanbase.

3. The "he hasn't played this year" thing about Palmer is pretty well overstated, given the lockout and how everybody's playing catch-up. I'm worried about the last two years' performance, not rust.

4. They overpaid for Palmer in the abstract, but not in terms of market price right here and now. Unfortunately, it's a seller's market. Garrard's back took him off the table as a possibility. Kyle Orton's been mentioned a lot, and is probably a better bet this or future years, trading within the division is something neither club is likely to do, because the PR fallout for a bad trade with a hated rival is going to be much worse than for a bad trade with, well, the Bengals. Not much else is available out there, and those that are (McNabb? Grossman?) hardly look better than Palmer.

5. Basically, this is what happens when bad luck hits hard in the middle of the season. This could blow up in their faces if Palmer sucks hard and they miss the playoffs anyway, but if Palmer is even half-decent, then they're probably money ahead...particularly considering their inability to draft anyone functional in recent years (let's consider again why they don't have this year's third-rounder, shall we?).

by BJR :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 6:52am

"particularly considering their inability to draft anyone functional in recent years"

Actually, whether by luck or judgment, the Raiders look like they knocked the 2010 draft out of the ball-park. They got four quality starters in Rolando McClain, LaMarr Houston, Jared Veldheer and Jacoby Ford, plus a draft day trade for Jason Campbell. That draft is a good part of the reason why they are now looking competitive.

by Nathan Forster :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 6:43pm

An overlooked aspect of this trade is that it might hurt the Raiders' prospects of attracting a quality general manager candidate going forward. If I'm a hot young general manager candidate with options, why would I go to a team with a QB with an expiration date that's missing almost all of the 2012 draft and a high pick in the 2013 draft?

Sorry JPP!

by Terry (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 7:15pm

As a Bengals fan, the fortuitous confluence of events that led to this trade amazes me. First, Mike Brown has to be stubborn for months and months regarding Palmer.

Second, the 4-2 Raiders (in a very winable division) lose their quarterback (in the last year of his contract) for the season...days before the trade deadline.

Then, the only serviceable free agent QB simultaneously decides to have his back cut open, making him unavailable.

Which thereby makes Palmer attractive to the Raiders' head coach, who just happens to be the guy who helped recruit Palmer to USC, and was on the coaching staff during his time as a Bengal.

And finally, and perhaps most unexpectedly, Mike Brown sets his ego aside and finally does what is right for long-term interests of the team.

Simply amazing.

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:46pm

OK, so it sure looks like Mike Brown or Marvin Lewis sold their soul to the devil. What's the Vegas line on Bengals winning the Superbowl? Have I got a couple of thou to spare? Also, I would reccomend that Cincy folks move waaay out of town before February!

by Trust Doesn't Rust (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:53am

Excellent observations. I'd add: "the death of Al Davis just days before creates a sense of urgency among the Raider franchise to honor his legacy with a winning season"

by Nathan :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 10:57am

Just happened to read a Collinsworth article that pretty much mirrored your comments:

Most people in Cincinnati just assumed that Mike Brown would do what he always does, take a stand and not budge even if it ultimately hurt the team. He had a point to make that nobody forces his hand. A Carson Palmer trade was just assumed to have died a Mike Brown death. Then a sequence of events occurred that was as unlikely as this trade. First, rookie quarterback Andy Dalton got the Bengals off to a 4-2 start and proved that he was a worthy successor. Second, Al Davis passed away making Hue Jackson the de facto football decision maker in Oakland. Third, the Raiders started 4-2. They appear to be very much in the playoff hunt after a long drought. Fourth, Jason Campbell was injured on the weekend before the NFL trade deadline. And fifth, Jackson had a relationship with Palmer from his days as an assistant in Cincinnati and thus had some working knowledge of Jackson's offense. So the Raiders get a possible savior for their season, and the Bengals get hope for their franchise. Hope. What a glorious word.

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 7:33pm

Serious question: why is Mike Brown being so heavily criticized for spiteful behavior? I don't know all the background details involved here (like perhaps inflammatory quotes or the like directed at Palmer) but the critical piece of information is that a fairly valuable player who was *under contract* demanded a trade and was going to sit at home until he got one. Let's say that the previous best offer for Palmer's services was a 3rd-round pick. If that were the case, I'd let Palmer sit too-- you're not obligated to do him a favor to the detriment of the franchise. And the ultimate result here validates that decision.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 7:55pm

Because it's Mike Brown.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:28am

Because his job is supposed to be trying to win games.

What helps the Bengals win more games, a 3rd round pick or the rights to a retired Carson Palmer?

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:52am

In the immediate time-frame the 3rd round pick. There is also the potentially negative long term consequence of allowing your players to believe their threats of retirement will get them what they want. Avoiding that perverse incentive has some value; whether that value is greater than a third round pick, I have no idea.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 2:26am

I think Palmer went beyond mere empty threats. I also think a half-way decent manager could spin that into getting rid of malcontents.

Hell, with the turnover in the NFL, it's likely in 3 years only a handful of people on the team even remember what happened.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 9:43am

True but will the agents who tend to have more control of the contract situations forget?

by GlennW :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 11:46am

There's that factor, but more importantly there's the fact that even a year-inactive Carson Palmer has some value next season and beyond (a draft pick can't be used until the following season anyway). We don't even know what might have been previously offered, but "take whatever you can get, right now!" also doesn't make much football or business sense. There has to be a fair price that is met, and in my opinion a (hypothetical) 3rd-rounder for Carson Palmer is not enough. As for the PR, how the owner spins either a trade or the protracted standoff, I care not a whit about that. A good owner/GM does what's right for his franchise, with any PR considerations being very secondary (as winning is always the best PR).

I fully agree that Mike Brown was extremely lucky to have hit the jackpot here. I would just think that Bengals fans would be overjoyed that he held his ground and it turned out to be the right decision for a change. But I do understand the historical reasons for the bitterness towards the man, sure.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:55pm

If the Bengals were just waiting for the right price that would have been fine. However, all the bluster coming from the Bengals was Mike Brown being outraged that a player had the audacity to not want to work for him and he wouldn't trade him at any price.

Near as I can tell Palmer's primary value to the Bengals was PR and a 3rd round pick seems fair for a retired player to me.

by Terry (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 8:10pm

Because he was being spiteful, doing what was worst for Palmer instead of what was best for him and the team. He refused to even consider listening to offers for Palmer, instead punishing him for violating his contract (all the while voiding the contracts of players who had been cut). He, by all accounts, was happy to let Palmer languish on the nonactive roster and not take something--anything--of value in return for a guy who won't even see the field for him this year.

Hence, my amazement at the turn of events. To give him credit for this is to give him credit for the astounding chain of circumstances that led to the trade. No one--Belichick, Newsome--and especially (number-one-very-mostest) Mike Brown, is that good.

by GlennW :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 8:23pm

Fair enough. I didn't realize that Brown had refused to entertain offers for Palmer. Obviously that was either a public bluff or something eventually changed, as he picked up the phone when the Raiders called.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 12:29am

Palmer didn't violate his contract.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:20pm

"He refused to even consider listening to offers for Palmer..."

Clearly this isn't true.

by MainerRaider (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 8:32pm

Yeah, they paid too damn much for this guy, but their options were terrible. Garrard seemed like a no-brainer, but he's out. Go with Boller or Pryor--no playoffs after a long drought. Denver probably wouldn't deal Orton to a division rival on reasonable terms. So Oakland had to make a questionable decision no matter what. I'd have preferred a late-round pick or a backup WR being dealt for McNabb, who could've kept the seat warm enough till Campbell's return, but that's just idle speculation.

by BJR :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 6:42am

The Raiders shouldn't get a free pass just because their options are terrible. I know serviceable QBs are difficult to come by, nevermind good ones, but if a team doesn't have a backup QB that they trust, that is still poor roster management.

by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:21pm

If you offerend Denver this deal, he'd be on a plane 15 minutes later. And hes a better QB than Palmer.

If you offered them a single 2nd round, he'd probably be on the plane.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:30pm

I'm guessing that for good or ill, in Hue Jackson's evaluation, Palmer is better than Orton, perhaps significantly.

Also, isn't Orton in the last year of his contract, and going to be looking for a big extension? I thought that was part of the reason Miami didn't try too hard to trade for him.

by Alexander :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 9:53pm

Is the NFL going to look into collusion on this? I mean, if a deal like this went down in a Fantasy Football league every manager in the league would downvote it. Its like Trading Matt Cassel for Mario Manningham and Ahman Bradshaw.

by dryheat :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:11pm

Who are the colluding parties in your scenario?

by Dont Hate (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 7:55pm

The Raiders made a move and took what they could get. You're all throwing out names of QBS that were NOT AVAILABLE! I'm a die hard Raider fan and think we overpaid, but lets be real, Kyle Boller was definitely NOT taking us to the playoffs. Hue Jackson is a smart coach and has worked with Palmer in his USC days and when he was a offensive coordinator for the Bengals. He has a relationship with Mike Brown and he utilized it. He made him an offer he couldn't refuse. There are several teams that would have loved to get their hands on Carson Palmer. Hue made a move and made a deal with a limited amount of time to keep his team moving in the right direction because he believes the time is now. Get your facts straight before you say stupid shit. RAIDER NATION!

by Eddo :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 10:13pm

Sorry... we already have a Raiderjoe...