After hearing about the jaw dropping price tag that the Redskins paid for the Rams 2nd overall pick this year in order to get Robert Griffin the 3rd I really got to thinking about the price we paid for Palmer. Like it or not, we paid the going rate for a Franchise QB. The last 5 major QB trades and their compensation are listed here below:
Jay Cutler- 2009 1st round pick, 2009 3rd round pick, 2010 1st round pick and Kyle Orton
Kevin Kolb- Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and 2012 2nd round draft pick (No. 45 overall)
Robert Griffin the 3rd (Technically for the 2ND PICK IN 2012 DRAFT)- 2012 1st round pick (No.6 overall) 2012 2nd round pick (No.38 overall) 2013 1st round pick and 2014 1st round pick
Donovan McNabb: 2010 second-round pick (No. 37 overall) and either a third- or fourth-round draft pick in 2011,
Carson Palmer: 2012 1st round draft pick (No. 17 overall) and either a 1st or 2nd round draft pick in 2013
I understand part of the argument against these numbers is that some people don't necessarily consider Carson Palmer to be a Franchise QB anymore. Whether or not all fans consider any of these QBs to be Franchise QBs does not actually matter to me for this compensation evaluation though, the only thing that matters is the intent of the team while making their respective trades. Each QB was traded for with the belief that they would be a Franchise QB for their new team and that justifies comparing the compensation for each player.
I felt at the time of the Palmer trade that we paid too much for Palmer, but in the end I didn't mind because he was the best QB we have had in a decade. If you are feeding on Saltines for 10 years then a Ritz cracker is going to taste mighty fine. Now not only am I O.K. with the amount we gave up, I truly believe it was actually a pretty fair deal based on the current market for Franchise Quarterbacks.
Nobody can deny that the NFL has evolved into an all out pass attack league. Quarterbacks now are worth more to their teams than ever before, and that has increased the trade value for them beyond any logical level. This past season we had 3 players throw for over 5,000 yards and 2 almost do it leaving no doubt what position is the most important in today's NFL.
The least compensation given up in these 5 trades was for McNabb to go from the Eagles to the Redskins. That makes sense because at the age of 34 turning 35 he was the oldest player involved in any of these trades. Also considering his lack of production it makes sense that out of all these players his compensation was the least.
The next lowest compensation is still in limbo because it depends on how well the Raiders do this season. If the Raiders were to make the AFC championship game and raise the second pick involved in our trade to a 1st rounder then the nod has to go to the Kevin Kolb deal for having less compensation involved for it. However, if that happens I doubt we will hear many people complain about our trade for Palmer anymore.
In my opinion if the second pick in our trade remains as the compensation we give up then I think we gave up less to get Palmer who was 32 than the Cardinals did to get Kolb who was 27. I consider Rodgers-Cromartie to have been worth more than our 17th pick in this years draft at the time of the trade and the second round picks essentially cancel each other off.
That is closer than it should have been considering the age differences, but if you use hindsight and look at production for last year It would not be outside the realm of logic to think it was correct for us to pay more for a more productive player.
Its tough to say for sure that Palmer was more productive due to his massive INT numbers but still he had 800 more yards and 4 more TDs with 1 more game played when he wasn't even on the roster for week 1 over Kolb who was on Arizona's roster at week 1. I also consider the INT numbers skewed because he never should have been forced onto the field in those first 2 games where he threw half of his INTs out of the 10 games he played in.
Yes, naysayers will call me a Carson Apologist for making that excuse however I am not saying that out of some sort of blind allegiance. If somebody throws as many INTs in his first 2 games as he did in the remaining 8 then there are obviously other factors involved. It is logic, it is not a guaranteed sign of bias. I am bias a bit I will admit, but that particular argument on Carson's behalf is valid.
Cutler has been very productive with the Bears having lead them to the NFC championship game in 2010 and leading them to what seemed like a given for a playoff appearance last year until an injury doomed his and the Bears season. They payed far more for Cutler who was 26 at the time than we did for Palmer which makes sense again due to the age difference.
Your guess is as good as mine for Robert Griffin the 3rd. He is an unproven player that just got traded for 3 first round picks and a 2nd so somebody thinks awfully highly of him.
All in all when you look at these trades there is one thing consistent to me, they all were over compensated for in their acquisition. What that tells me is not that everybody is over valuing the QB position, but that up until now I had been under valuing it. The plain simple truth is in a pass driven league you need a top notch passer, and when one becomes available you pay whatever it takes to get them. Whether I think these teams paid too much simply does not matter, because it turns out it is all just market value for a potential Franchise QB.