Oakland Raiders: 5 Reasons Carson Palmer Trade Is Going to Pay off in 2012

Ross Dautel@@RossDautelContributor IIIMarch 6, 2012

Oakland Raiders: 5 Reasons Carson Palmer Trade Is Going to Pay off in 2012

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    The trade for Carson Palmer didn't play out exactly as the Raiders had hoped in 2011, as the team failed to make the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year.

    However, 2012 is the dawn of a new day for both Palmer and the Raiders. Let's take a look at five reasons why the deal for Palmer will pay off handsomely for Oakland in 2012...


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    It's no secret that Palmer's first game in the silver and black was a major letdown. The quarterback threw three picks against the Kansas City Chiefs in his Raiders debut and notched an appalling 15.5 QB rating.

    Palmer's next game wasn't spectacular either, as he threw three more picks (but did add three touchdowns).

    But once the veteran quarterback settled in, he performed admirably and began to develop a solid rapport with the Raiders wide receivers.

    Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore seemed to be in synch with Palmer for the last month of the season, which certainly bodes well heading into next season.

    Additionally, Palmer will have a year of training camp and preseason under his belt, which will add to his overall comfort level and allow him to get on the same page with some of Oakland's other receivers.

    Palmer struggled early in his Raiders career because of his unfamiliarity with the playbook and his receivers. With both of these issues gone heading into 2012, we can expect big things from Palmer moving forward.

Palmer Is the Raiders' Best Option at Quarterback

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    It still remains to be seen whether or not Jason Campbell will properly recover from his collarbone injury. The Raiders are much better pouring money into a proven quarterback in Carson Palmer as opposed to Campbell, who is fresh off an injury and headed for free agency.

    Without Palmer in Oakland, the Raiders would either be forced to test the free-agent market or take a stab in the dark with an unproven Terrelle Pryor or an aging Kyle Boller.

    Neither of these options is safe or appealing.

    Had the Raiders not dealt for Palmer, quarterback would be a position of weakness and uncertainty. With Palmer in the fold, the position becomes one of strength and experience.

Palmer Is the Best Quarterback in the AFC West

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    Yep, I said it. Compared to the other three quarterbacks in the division, Carson Palmer is not only the most experienced, but he is the best gunslinger the AFC West has to offer.

    Tim Tebow of the Broncos was one of the worst statistical passers in the NFL last year, amassing just 1,729 yards through the air and a 72.9 passer rating.

    Palmer's former teammate at USC, Matt Cassel, is coming off an injury in Kansas City and we still must wait and see how he handles his return to action.

    Philip Rivers looked out of it for much of 2011, having the worst season of his eight-year career. Unless the veteran can lead a convincing bounce-back campaign, Palmer is still the more reliable option.

    The Raiders were carried by their offense during the last few games of the season, due in large part to the efforts of Palmer. Look for the Raiders signal-caller to continue his ascension by outdueling his AFC West counterparts in 2012.

Palmer Is More Valuable Than the Draft Pick He Was Traded For

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    The price for Palmer was not cheap, as the Raiders shipped a first-round pick in April's NFL draft (as well as a second-round pick in 2013) to Cincinnati in exchange for the veteran.

    Last year, the Raiders were one win away from being a playoff team. Yes, there are adjustments that need to be made, particularly in the secondary and along the offensive line.

    But the bottom line is Oakland, with Palmer at the helm, is just a couple moves away from being a playoff-caliber football team.

    It's much more valuable for the Raiders to have Palmer, a proven NFL quarterback, as opposed to an unproven college player who may or may not pan out at the next level.

    The Raiders can still address their areas of concern with the compensatory picks they will receive in the draft.

    Even though a first-round cornerback or offensive lineman would have been nice, Palmer will bring much more to the table in 2012 than either of those options would have.

Palmer Is Motivated

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    During his final few months in Cincinnati, Palmer was viewed as a washed-up player who would never amount to anything great again in his career.

    Now that he has an opportunity to rejuvenate his career in Oakland, you can bet Palmer is chomping at the bit to prove his worth.

    Palmer knows the exact price it cost the Raiders to acquire him.

    He is also aware of the fact that the Raiders haven't made a return trip to the postseason since 2003, when they played in the Super Bowl.

    Lastly, Palmer is aware of how close the Raiders came to the playoffs last year. You can be sure that he doesn't want to come that close without capitalizing again.

    Palmer is a man on a mission, out to prove his naysayers wrong. The quarterback has already outlined his offseason plans, which include throwing sessions with the wide receivers and workout sessions in Los Angeles.

    Palmer doesn't want to be remembered as the quarterback who cost the Raiders their future. He wants to be known as the player who ended the postseason drought in Oakland.

    Make no mistake, Palmer will do everything in his power to make sure that happens.