Just over three weeks are left until the 2013 NFL Draft, and teams like the Oakland Raiders are trying to address some of their key issues with trades rather than picks.
Oakland has six picks in this year’s draft, but need many more to address a 28th ranked rushing offense, and a pass rush that recorded 25 sacks last season, second to last in the NFL. The Raiders have two selections in the seventh round, and one in the first, third, fourth, and sixth rounds.
Team general manager Reggie McKenzie can acquire more picks by moving quarterback Carson Palmer, who is reportedly interested in a change, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports last week.
Palmer's desire to leave and the Raiders need of picks to rebuild coincide perfectly, especially with teams like the Arizona Cardinals in need of a quarterback.
Arizona is interested in Palmer, but only at the right price, according to the Arizona Republic. The Cardinals are willing to offer late-round or conditional picks, worth much less than what Oakland originally gave up to acquire Palmer in 2011.
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Palmer has an 8-16 record in Oakland, with 35 touchdowns to 30 interceptions, and last season was tenth in the NFL with 4,018 passing yards.
Due to injuries, poor play, and an offensive line that gave up a league-worst 58 sacks, Arizona went through four different quarterbacks last season.
Palmer refused to reduce his $13 million salary for next season, which is one of the reasons Oakland is thinking about either trading or releasing him. If any team, including Arizona, trades for Palmer, he may have to take a pay cut.
The 33-year-old has also expressed a desire to play for a contender, even in a back-up role, which could make Arizona a less than ideal destination.
However the Cardinals do have All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who would be the best wide out Palmer has played with since his days Cincinnati.
With one quarterback possibly on his way out, Oakland already has a plan in place to bring in a cheaper and younger passer. Last week the Raiders were reportedly in serious discussions with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire quarterback Matt Flynn.
Update [11:08 a.m.] Oakland and Seattle have come to terms on a trade that sends Flynn to the Raiders for a 2014 and 2015 late round draft pick, as reported by Fox Sports Jay Glazer Monday.
Six years younger than Palmer, and at nearly half the price, Flynn may be an ideal fit for the Raiders, who are looking to rebuild after going 25-39 over the last four seasons.
The trade also allows Oakland to use the third overall pick in this year’s draft to strengthen the defensive and offensive lines, and avoid taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith has been a rumored target for several teams, but many fans feel the Raiders have more pressing needs, and should instead give 23-year-old Terrelle Pryor a chance under center.