Imagine a lifted truck so tall you have to pull yourself up into the cab. Picture its larger-than-life chrome rims and its tinted windows. When the ignition is turned on, the truck emits a deep rumble.
Sounds great, right? The catch? This truck is unable to shift into reverse, so it's essentially useless.
With the news of Palmer being traded to the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, this irrelevant chapter in his career has come to an end (via ESPN).
Palmer can still play. That's obvious, considering he threw for 4,018 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this past season. But those numbers are fool's gold when one realizes the 2012 Raiders swashbuckled their way to a 4-12 record.
The Cardinals are getting a steal, as they only had to give up the 176th overall pick of this year's draft—which falls in the sixth round—and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. That's pennies on the dollar for what then-head coach Hue Jackson and the Raiders paid to get Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals. They surrendered a first-round pick in last year's draft and a second-round pick for this year's draft.
In other words, the Raiders cut their losses and moved on. The house cleaning continues in Oakland. With the aid of hindsight, getting Palmer sure seemed like a raw deal for the Raiders. But they took a chance and simply missed. They weren't the first and certainly won't be the last team this happens to.
As for Arizona, the Cardinals now have their best signal-caller since Kurt Warner retired. No more John Skelton. No more Ryan Lindley or Brian Hoyer. And most importantly, no more Kevin Kolb. The best thing the Cardinals are getting is competence at the quarterback position and that's what this team has been needing for the longest time.
Palmer should thrive in the desert. He'll have the best receiver he's ever had the chance to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald, and that includes Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens during his final years in Cincinnati.
Gone will be the speedy-but-not-much-else wideouts Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Palmer will have a decent set of receivers to throw to again.
But Palmer isn't the long-term solution to the quarterback puzzle in Arizona. He's not the franchise guy anymore. He'll have the reins for one, maybe two seasons. Or at least until the Cardinals find their franchise quarterback through the draft, be it Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon or someone else.