Punch Drunk Wonderland

Somehow the Carson Palmer trade wasn’t so bad for either side

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders

Unlike the Great Fleecing of 2011 (aka the trade of Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 1st round pick and a 2013 2nd round pick) the trade that happened yesterday involving Palmer seems to work out for all parties involved. On Tuesday Palmer was involved in a deal between the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals in which Arizona received Palmer and a 7th round pick in this year’s draft while the Raiders received a 6th rounder this year and conditional 7th in 2014. Palmer’s contract is a new two-year $16 million with $10 million guaranteed. No guaranteed money in the second year of the contract.

After acquiring Matt Flynn from Seattle, the Raiders were in a position to deal Palmer after an unsuccessful ride in the last two seasons. There’s no guarantee that Flynn is the answer, but it allows Oakland to escape their 2011 Palmer blunder with no more damage done. The upside for the Raiders is that they can now focus on a young quarterback with some upside and have some freedom in cap space along with a slightly improved draft position in the next two drafts. That kind of makes up for the wasted 2nd rounder they are still giving up this season from the initial trade with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cardinals are getting something they need. A veteran quarterback that can potentially help right a ship that has been a mess on offense, and has been a particular nightmare at the quarterback position. Palmer certainly isn’t any kind of long term answer, and there are concerns about motivation after he more or less gave up on Oakland in the last two seasons. But, he’s the best thing going for them right now and he could really work out in Bruce Arians’ big passing game. That said, Arians’ offense generally puts pressure on the offensive line and the quarterback because he likes to allow time for big plays to develop. Palmer isn’t mobile and the Cardinals o-line was a nightmare in 2012. There are definite question marks, and definite draft concerns.  If he can stay off his back, Palmer is going to have an elite receiver to throw to in Larry Fitzgerald and I’m sure Fitzy is happy with this QB change. All things considered, it’s a relatively decent improvement in a year with a shaky quarterback draft class.

I don’t think either of these teams will be contenders any time soon, but these moves were pretty decent on both sides. If Arizona can maintain the good defense from 2012 and improve their abysmal offense, they could at least fight their way back to being a .500 team in 2013. The Raiders have limited weapons and room for improvement all over the roster. The 2013 season may not be all that great for them, but they made out pretty well in unloading the Palmer baggage they were carrying around.

Fantasy Focus

Not much to say here. Neither Carson Palmer or Matt Flynn will be top fantasy QB1 options in 2013. Flynn was shoved aside by Russell Wilson in 2012, so the only real fantasy numbers we have for him are from the few games in which he filled in for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay two seasons ago. Not worth taking a flier on. As for Palmer, he was #18 on the fantasy points list for QBs in 2012 and spent much of the season looking slow and beat up. There are questions about whether he gave up on the team, so that’s a definite concern. With many better fantasy options going into 2013, it’s safe to just steer clear of these guys.


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...