Oakland and Cincinnati are on the verge of completing one of the NFL's biggest trade-deadline deals in decades, with the Raiders acquiring holdout quarterback Carson Palmer from the Bengals in exchange for a two first-round picks, according to sources familiar with the deal.
The first first-round pick is in 2012 and the other is a conditional first-round pick in 2013.
It's a bold move for each team.
Cincinnati is empowering a team it could be competing against for a playoff spot or even in the postseason. The Raiders are turning over another high pick for a quarterback that has been holding out and has struggled in recent seasons when some around the league questioned his arm strength. But ultimately, both sides believed it a gamble worth taking.
Oakland and Cincinnati spent much of Monday discussing the deal to the point early Monday night when a select few people realized it could happen. People involved in the deal's discussions thought it could happen, but they also recognized how delicate the talks were.
Palmer has been working out in Southern California with former Jets quarterback Ken O'Brien. Palmer also has a strong relationship with Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, with the two men having worked together in Cincinnati from 2004-2006, when Jackson was the Bengals' receivers coach.
Now Palmer will became another former Bengal to make his way west to the Raiders. And Oakland needs him. With Campbell out, the Raiders turned to Kyle Boller to replace him and also had Terrelle Pryor on the bench.
The trade became possible for the Bengals because Dalton has been impressive throughout training camp and the season's first six games.
Palmer was willing to restructure his contract, which would pay him $6.9 million for the balance of this season, sources said. In Dec. 2005, he signed an extension with the Bengals through 2014 that was valued at $118.75 million that had remained in tact when he informed the Bengals in January that he wanted a trade or would retire. He has never spoken publicly about his status and his agent, David Dunn, has only confirmed the original report that Palmer had met with Bengals owner Mike Brown to inform him of his feelings. It has been reported recently that Palmer himself had been speaking to Brown to persuade him to make a trade.
Palmer's wife, Shaelynn, is a former swimmer he met at USC and was raised in the San Jose area.
Until now, the biggest recent trade-deadline deals involved receivers. One came in 2008, when the Detroit Lions sent wide receiver Roy Williams and a seventh-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys in exhanged for first-, third- and sixth-round picks in 2009. The same week, Williams agreed to a five-year, $45 million extension that included more than $20 million guaranteed. Williams wound up being released before training camp began last summer.
In 2009, the Browns traded wide receiver Braylon Edwards to the Jets. But rarely have trade deadline deals involved quarterbacks, especially ones in a situation like Palmer's.