The game of "Quarterback Musical Chairs" continues as the Oakland Raiders have finalized a trade that will send quarterback Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
According to NFL.com, the Cardinals have traded the latter of their two sixth-round picks in 2013 and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014 in exchange for Palmer and a 2013 seventh-round pick for Palmer, who had two seasons and $28 million remaining on his current contract. The 33-year-old reportedly had dinner with Cardinals executives on Monday night and, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com, has agreed to a new deal that is worth $16 million over the next two seasons and includes $10 million in guaranteed money and up to $4 million in incentives.
The Raiders' trade of Palmer to the Cardinals does not come as a surprise.
As Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday, the two sides were moving closer to a deal after the Raiders shipped a 2014 fifth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for quarterback Matt Flynn, who now assumes the top spot on the Raiders' quarterback depth chart.
Palmer was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 NFL draft and went to the Pro Bowl following the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Palmer spent his first eight seasons in Cincinnati before staging his exit from that franchise by declining to report to training camp following the 2011 lockout. The Bengals, who had selected Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 draft, shipped Palmer to the Raiders in exchange for a 2012 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2013, which is the 37th overall pick in this month's draft.
In two seasons with the Raiders, Palmer started 24 of 25 games, completed 60.9 percent of his pass attempts for 6,771 yards with 35 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. With the Raiders undergoing a rebuild, Palmer was not expected back in 2013 and had declined efforts by the franchise to reduce his $13 million base salary this offseason.
By trading Palmer, the Raiders save $13 million in cash, $5.995 million in salary cap space and can close the books on one of the more regrettable trades in recent NFL history.
Palmer instantly becomes the best option for a Cardinals team that has struggled at the quarterback position since the retirement of Kurt Warner following the 2009 season. The Cardinals have started Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer over the last three seasons and have ranked 31st (2010), 17th (2011) and 28th (2012) in passing offense. Palmer gives them a quarterback capable of throwing for over 4,000 yards, which he's done three times in his career, including 4,018 yards for the Raiders last season.
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