The inevitable has happened, surrounded by surprising circumstances as it may be. The Washington Redskins have traded quarterback Jason Campbell(notes) to the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round pick in 2012. The Raiders have also extended Campbell's contract through the 2011 season.
Campbell, who was selected 25th overall by Washington in the 2005 draft, suffered through several offensive scheme changes and a one-time demotion in favor of Todd Collins(notes). When he got his starting position back over time, he still had to deal with Jim Zorn's limited view of the West Coast offense, and a porous offensive line that frequently had him running for his life right after he took the snap.
When the Redskins acquired Donovan McNabb(notes) on April 4, Campbell's ticket was officially punched -- it was just a matter of time and team. Campbell's actually a very good fit for the Raiders; he's a prototypical seven-step drop quarterback with a good deep ball, which is exactly what the Raiders have always wanted in their signal-callers. And given the turmoil in the Redskins' organization over the last five years, Campbell may be going to a more stable situation in Oakland than what he experienced in the nation's capital. It's not often that the Raiders are an organizational upgrade, but that's an indication of the vagaries of Campbell's career.
The surprising aspect of this deal is that it comes near the end of a very, very solid draft for the Raiders. For once, Oakland avoided first-round reaches based on pure athleticism, instead fortifying their defensive middle with Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain(notes) and Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston(notes). Then, they went for the project players later in the draft - Hillsdale offensive tackle Jared Veldheer(notes), Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell, and Clemson speed receiver Jacoby Ford. Now, they have their possible future franchise quarterback, and Al Davis has - at least indirectly - admitted the JaMarcus Russell(notes) mistake. This is a rare standout weekend for the long-suffering Raider Nation - Campbell is a real steal at the price. Depending on labor issues, there might not even be a 2012 draft.