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Raiders get: QB Carson Palmer
Bengals get: first-round pick in 2012, conditional second-round pick in 2013
Wow. Simply wow. No one saw this coming.
After Jason Campbell went down, the Raiders were left with no one but Kyle Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor on their bench. Palmer was certainly not the Raiders' first option; they knew how stubborn Bengals owner Mike Brown was being and how much it would cost to pry the quarterback away from him. Former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard would have been a much cheaper option, but a herniated disc in his back that requires surgery kept that from happening.
But the Raiders, desperate to not let their playoff hopes slip away, pulled the trigger. After trading away their first-rounder next year, they have only two picks in the 2012 draft: in the fifth and sixth rounds. The second-round pick in 2013 they traded away becomes a first-round pick if the Raiders win a playoff game.
But is the formerly retired Palmer worth it? Remember, this isn't just a rental. Palmer has three years after this season remaining on his current deal. Palmer is 31 years old, and just last season in Cincinnati, he threw 20 interceptions. Granted, the Raiders could cut him at any time, but after giving up two high draft picks, they probably won't.
Which leaves the Terrelle Pryor saga shrouded in even more mystery. The Raiders just used a third-round pick on him, and he is under contract for as long as Palmer. Based on the king's ransom Oakland gave up for Palmer, he is likely going to stick as their starting quarterback for a while. Could we see Pryor change positions? Only time will tell.
In the end, it's a good fit for the Raiders. They will still be a run-first offense led by Darren McFadden—arguably the best running back in the league. Palmer has always been a fan of throwing deep bombs, and with an intriguing young receiving corps in Oakland that includes the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey, it may just work. Not to mention, head coach Hue Jackson has spent time with Palmer at USC and Cincinnati before joining the Raiders.
The 4-2 Raiders are looking for the playoffs, and they're letting everyone know it.
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