On Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders traded quarterback Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals. Of course, Palmer was drafted by the Bengals and played eight seasons in Cincinnati. Palmer's exit from the Queen City, after he was traded to Oakland in October of 2011, was high-profile at the time because Palmer had declared that he wouldn't play for the Bengals again and would essentially retire from football until Mike Brown traded him.
The Raiders rushed to bring him in during the 2011 season after Jason Campbell went down with an injury. The Raiders were desperate. Hue Jackson, now the Bengals running back coach, was the head coach of the Raiders at the time. "As far as the draft picks, what we have to give up, I never hesitated because I know exactly what I'm getting," Jackson said at the time.
The Raiders gave up a first round pick in the 2012 draft which allowed the Bengals to draft cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. They also gave up a second round pick in this year's draft, which could have been a first-round pick had the Raiders won a divisional playoff game. Meanwhile, Carson Palmer led the Raiders to a 4-12 record in 2012, although he did eclipsing 4,000 passing yards. Now, he's an Arizona Cardinal.
Who won the Carson Palmer deal?
To say that the Bengals won out on this trade is a tad premature. Dre Kirkpatrick has yet to make an impact in the NFL after missing the majority of his rookie season, and the Bengals still have to draft someone with the No. 37 overall pick this year before the trade can truly be evaluated.
It is safe to say, however, that the Raiders lost the trade. Palmer came in and played 10 games for Oakland in 2011, throwing 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. In 2012, their passing offense ranked within the top-10 in the NFL, however, losing seven out of eight to end the season won't fly anywhere.
Bengals owner Mike Brown has received some scrutiny lately about his approach to free agency, but this deal with the Raiders shows why Brown is in the position that he is in. Yes, at the end of Palmer's stint in Cincinnati the tension between he and the team was so thick that the yard in front of Palmer's $1.9 million, Indian Hill home was at one time "littered with garbage" by fans. However, through it all, the Bengals didn't really lose anything, especially because of the emergence of quarterback Andy Dalton.
Not much has been said about the contract negotiations with right tackle Andre Smith this offseason other than Smith coming out and saying that the offer "stinks." The situation is slightly different, but it looks like Brown is handling this one with Smith similarly to how he did with Palmer. Chances are that Brown will agree to a deal with Smith. If he's as stubborn with Smith as he was with Palmer, the Bengals are in good shape.