Carson Palmer has been traded to the Arizona Cardinals by the Oakland Raiders for a seventh round draft pick. The trade clears cap space for the rebuilding Raiders and gives the Cardinals a starting quarterback for the 2013 season.
Now that Carson Palmer has been traded to the Cardinals, Drew Stanton will not be the starting quarterback in Arizona. Stanton followed head coach Bruce Arians from Indianapolis to Arizona with dreams of starting. Arians even talked up the career back up to get Cardinal fans excited.
Cardinal fans have a real reason to be excited now. Carson Palmer may have led the Raiders to a 4-12 record in his first full season, but he was surrounded by a severe lack of talent. In his first 16 games in Oakland, Palmer threw for over 5,000 yards.
More importantly, the trade for Carson Palmer only cost the Cardinals a seventh round draft pick. When the Kansas City Chiefs traded for Alex Smith, they gave the 49ers their second round draft pick. Palmer may end up being the biggest steal of the offseason.
For the Raiders, moving Palmer is the final sign of a team going into massive rebuild mode. General manager Reggie McKenzie has dismantled last years team in his second year on the job. Some of the notable starters he has cut are Darrius Heyard-Bey, Tommy Kelly, Michael Huff, and Richard Seymour. Each were members of the Al Davis era and all underperformed in their time in Oakland.
The last big move of the Al Davis era was the Carson Palmer trade in 2011. The Raiders gave up a first and second round draft pick to acquire Palmer after starter Jason Campbell went down with an injury.
Palmer’s time in Oakland was short lived. McKenzie recently traded for Matt Flynn to replace him. Flynn has two career starts in the NFL, but his numbers in those starts were explosive. The Raiders believe he has more upside than Palmer. He is also significantly cheaper.
The Cardinals believe Carson Palmer has more upside than Drew Stanton. Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who had to struggle through the Kevin Kolb era, agrees:
Source close to Fitzgerald told me, “He thinks this was the best option for the team to be competitive. He’s really happy.”
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 2, 2013
The trade for Carson Palmer does not make the Arizona Cardinals a sudden favorite in the NFC West though. The NFC West is the toughest division in football. The San Francisco 49ers show no signs of slowing down after making the Super Bowl last season, and the Seattle Seahawks are just as good. Palmer and the Cardinals have a lot to prove in the 2013 season.
Do you think Carson Palmer will make the Cardinals competitive? Is he a good fit in Arizona?