Raiders Vault: Retrospective On The Disastrous Carson Palmer Trade

We continue to look at moments in Raiders’ history, and re-examine them for some of the newer fans who might not be too familiar. One instance many in Raider Nation remember with bitterness is the disastrous trade for quarterback Carson Palmer.

The 2011 season turned out to be a turning point for the Raiders for a bevy of reasons. First, legendary owner Al Davis passed away, which marked the end of an era not just for the team but for the NFL as a whole. In addition, that season saw the debut of another head coach, Hue Jackson, who took over after Tom Cable was not welcomed back. As far as the quarterback position, the Raiders went 4-2 with Jason Campbell as the team’s starting signal-caller. Unfortunately, Campbell was lost due to injury six games into the season, from there, Jackson traded for Palmer.

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A Complete Disaster

In retrospect, the trade ended up being a disaster for the Raiders. The franchise gave up potential marquee draft capital for a quarterback who had question marks of his own. Furthermore, they gave up premium compensation, a 2012 first-round selection along with a 2013 second-round pick.

Steve Berman of The Athletic recently ranked the worst sports trades by Bay Area teams. It wasn’t surprising that Berman ranked the Palmer trade as number 15 on his list. Palmer took over after Campbell’s injury ended his Raiders tenure. Unfortunately, the team never bounced back after showing promise as they had with Campbell under center. Berman summed up Palmer’s underwhelming and costly Raiders tenure.

“Palmer started the final nine games of that season, throwing 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The Raiders finished 8-8, losing the season-finale to the Chargers to cost themselves the AFC West title. Jackson was fired after the season, the Raiders went 4-12 in 2012 and Palmer was traded to the Cardinals with a 2013 seventh-round pick in April 2013 for a 2013 sixth-rounder and a 2014 seventh-rounder. Palmer proceeded to go 29-9 as a starter over the next three seasons with Arizona.”

What Might’ve Been

As far as what those picks, it’s quite depressing for any Raiders fan to look at what might’ve been. For example, with the 2012 first-rounder, the Raiders could’ve selected outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. The Chargers’ defensive stalwart, is a three-time Pro Bowler with 49 career sacks. On the other hand, the 2013 second-rounder could’ve netted the Raiders with wide receiver Robert Woods, who despite struggling early on with the Bills, has become a 1,100-plus receiving yard pass catcher. The dire abyss that was the Raiders of the 2000s was only exacerbated by a trade that nearly derailed the following decade as well. It’s just not easy being a Raiders fan.

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*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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