It is finally official: Carson Palmer is headed to the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders traded Palmer and a seventh-round draft pick to the Cardinals in exchange for a sixth-round selection and a conditional 2014 seventh-round draft pick. The Raiders will receive the 2014 pick if Palmer starts 13 games of the 2013 season according to Adam Schefter.
This trade had been in the works for days and when the Raiders traded for Matt Flynn on Sunday, it spelled the end of Palmer's time in Oakland. As part of the trade to Arizona, Palmer agreed to sign a new contract that pays him $16 million over two years with $10 million guaranteed according to Kent Somers. Palmer was scheduled to make $13 million with the Raiders in 2013.
At $13 million he was far too expensive for Oakland to keep and the two sides struggled to reach an agreement on a new contract before the Raiders decided to go another way, signing Flynn. Oakland offered Palmer a contract similar to what he got from the Cardinals, paying him near $10 million per year, but with no guaranteed money according to Mike Silver, making his decision to go Arizona much easier.
Oakland spent a lot to get Palmer in 2011, and it never paid off. The Raiders sent a 2012 first-round pick to Cincinnati, which turned into cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the deal for Palmer. The Bengals also received the Raiders' second-round pick in the 2013 draft (No. 37 overall) as part of the deal.
Although Oakland may have overpaid to get Palmer, the Cardinals did not. Palmer threw for 4,000 yards last season and is a significant upgrade for the Cardinals, who posted the lowest team passer rating in the league last year. Larry Fitzgerald expressed his approval of the deal and thinks it should help make Arizona competitive according to Peter King.