When the Raiders trade for Carson Palmer went down midseason, I was one of those who said it was too big a price to pay. But the trade that just went down involving the Redskins moving up to the number two spot in the draft makes the Raider's compensation to the Bengals look like nothing. So we have RG3 vs CP3.
The deal that went down today had the Washington Redskins giving the St Louis Rams three number one picks and an additional second round pick to get their number two overall pick in this year's draft. The thinking is that the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the number one overall pick (which they will) and then the Redskins will be able to draft Robert Griffin III, the Heisman trophy winning quarterback out of Baylor.
Compare this to the the Raiders who desperately needed a quarterback midseason when Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone. Then "acting GM" Hue Jackson pulled the trigger to send a 2012 first round pick and a 2013 second round pick that could turn into a first round pick should the Raiders make the AFC Championship next season. A trade Jackson infamously called "The greatest trade in football."
That certainly was far from the greatest trade in football, but compared to the trade for the right to draft Griffin III, it doesn't look half bad.
What you have is a difference of an additional two first round picks for RG3 than for CP3.
Griffin has two primary advantages over Palmer. He is younger and he is faster. Well, considerably younger and considerably faster.
Outside of that, he has only proven himself over one good season in college football with a Heisman trophy to show for it.
Carson Palmer is a former Heisman trophy winner himself. He has also proven himself over a eight seasons in the NFL. Over that time Palmer has passed for over 3000 yards five times and over 4000 twice. He is also a two time Pro Bowler. Both are high character guys with good arms but until Griffin faces the speed of NFL defenses, we won't really know how good he can be. That is the unknown with the draft. It is the difference between trading for known commodity in Palmer and an unknown, albeit intriguing, commodity in RG3.
After that you need only look at the picks given up for each player.
For Palmer, the Raiders gave up their #17 pick in the 2012 draft. Compared to the Redskins who gave up their #6 overall pick as well as the #39 pick in this draft.
In next year's draft the Redskins will give up another first round pick. If the Raiders make the AFC Championship game, they will give up a pick no higher than #28. If they don't, they will give up likely a mid to low second round pick.
After that the Redskins will still have another first round pick to give up in the 2014 draft.
It is a shocking trade to be certain. The Redskins got what they wanted but they traded off a lot of their present and future draft picks to get it. And even if Griffin does turn out to be the real deal, he will likely take time to develop. If he is the real deal, he will be reaching his prime right about the time Palmer is retiring.
But in the meantime, Carson Palmer will be winning games for the Raiders and in a "Win now" and "What have you done for me lately?" league, one never knows where either team will be in four years. All the while, if Griffin's development takes too long, Shanahan may not even be there before all the draft picks are sent to St Louis.
Somewhere Hue Jackson is smiling saying "I told you so."