Raiders acquire QB Carson Palmer

October 18, 2011, 2:20 pm
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Raiders will host a press conference introducing Carson Palmer, which will air on CSN California and stream live at 4 p.m. on
Carson Palmer and Hue Jackson have a history.

And not just from when Jackson was the receivers coach with Cincinnati from 2004 through 2006. Jackson also recruited Palmer to USC in 1998 and was Palmer's offensive coordinator with the Trojans through 2000.

So yes, Palmer fulfills a huge part of the criteria Jackson laid out on Monday, that he'd have to have a certain sense of familiarity with any prospective new quarterback.

The Raiders acquiring Palmer for a first-round draft pick in next April's draft, as well as a future conditional pick, will leave Oakland without selections in the first, second, third, fourth and seventh rounds in 2012.

It also leaves no question to Jackson's position as the Raiders' power broker in the wake of Al Davis' passing on Oct. 8.

Palmer will wear No. 3 in Oakland. The team issued a press release shortly before 2 p.m. announcing a press conference to introduce Palmer.

Oakland beating the NFL trade deadline by bringing in a front-line starter like Palmer, rather than a backup along the lines of Trent Edwards, gives credence to the notion that the Raiders believe Jason Campbell's season is done, thanks to his fractured right collarbone, and that they have little trust in Kyle Boller going forward and even less in Terrelle Pryor.

"You've got to have somebody that can kind of hit the ground running, whether the guy can be a starter or the guy can be a backup because if not, it's going to take two or three weeks, or four to get engrained in the system and you've fallen behind," Jackson said Monday in his weekly media conference.

"I'm not interested in just putting anybody on this team."

Palmer, obviously, is not just "anybody."

He's a former Heisman Trophy winner who is also a two-time Pro Bowler and a strong-armed passer who, many critics charge, quit on his team this offseason when he sat out rather than report after his demands for a trade from Cincinnati were not met.

Under Palmer, and with Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco as his receivers, the Bengals finished the 2010 season with a 10-game losing streak to finish 4-12, the team's worst finish since 2002. That was the year the Bengals finished with the worst record in the NFL and used to top pick to select Palmer.

Despite his draft standing, Palmer sat out his first year, learning the nuances of the position behind Jon Kitna.

In 2005, Palmer found his groove, leading Cincinnati to an 11-5 record and its first winning mark since 1990 while leading the NFL with 32 touchdown passes and a 67.8 completion percentage. But it was in a divisional playoff game against Pittsburgh when defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen rolled up on Palmer's left knee and tore both the ACL and MCL.

Palmer returned for the 2006 season but missed most of 2008 with a partially torn ligament and tendon in his right elbow.

Palmer's career record as a starting quarterback is 46-51, bottoming out with last year's 4-12 mark that hastened his request for a trade, despite his signing a six-year contract extension that took his initial deal through 2014 and made him, at the time, the highest paid player in the NFL on Dec. 29, 2005.

The Bengals were scheduled to pay Palmer 11 million this season, 11.5 million in 2012, 13 million in 2013 and 14 million in 2014.

"Hopefully this is the last place I end up playing," Palmer said at the time of the deal. "That's so rare in this league these days. It's so rare to see a person have a five-, eight-, 10-, 12-year career in one place. And I feel very fortunate that it looks like that's going to be my future."

Obviously, his feelings changed in the past five-plus years. This past season, fans reportedly left garbage on the lawn of Palmer's suburban Cincinnati home.

"Because of the lack of success that Carson and the Bengals have experienced together," Palmer's agent, David Dunn, said in a release in January, "Carson strongly feels that a separation between him and the Bengals would be in the best interest of both parties."

WCPO-TV reported in March a friend of Palmer's quoted the quarterback as saying he "will never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again," and that "I have 80 million in the bank. I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life."

But Browns owner Mike Brown initially stood firm, saying he would not trade his franchise quarterback.

"I honestly like Carson Palmer," Brown said then. "He was a splendid player for us. He's a good person. I wish him well. And he is retired. That is his choiceI'm not expecting him to be back."

Brown was also asked why he would not budge.

"Carson signed a contract," he said. "He made a commitment. He gave his word. "We relied on his word. We relied on his commitment. We expected him to perform here. He's going to walk away from his commitment. We aren't going to reward him for doing it."

Seems a potential pair of first-round draft picks might Brown rethink things. And has Palmer on the brink of rewriting some history with Jackson.

And while it appears as though the Raiders are now taking the 2012 NFL draft off, they were expecting to receive a compensatory pick or two after losing free agents Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery.

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