Three years to the day that Carson Palmer first practiced with the Raiders, with hopes of solidifying Oakland's revolving door at quarterback and turning the team into a contender, he returns having done just that in Arizona.
Palmer's less-than-two-year stay in Oakland started with promise as he almost led the Raiders to the 2011 playoffs before a late-season collapse. But after a four-win season in 2012, the Raiders dealt Palmer to Arizona when he was unwilling to take a pay cut.
The change of scenery has worked out well for Palmer as the Cardinals won 10 games a year ago and are in first place in the NFC West this season thanks to a 4-1 start heading into today's game at the Raiders (0-5).
“I have no hard feelings at all,” Palmer said. “I loved my time there. I loved living in the Bay Area, and playing for the Raiders is unlike anything else. There is just something special to being a Raider and you don't know it until you get to experience it.”
After Palmer left, the Raiders rotated Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin at quarterback last season as they continued to search for what's been missing ever since Rich Gannon retired a decade ago.
They just might have found the answer now in rookie Derek Carr, coming off his best game yet, having thrown four touchdown passes in last week's 31-28 loss to San Diego.
“From everything I've heard, he's a really, really good player and they have their guy of the future and that's great,” Palmer said. “They deserve to have a good young guy to build around.”
Carr did throw a late interception that ended a comeback attempt and is still seeking his first win as a pro.
“I do feel like I'm getting better,” Carr said. “I have to continue to get better. Obviously it's not good enough. That's no problem for me because I love going to work and doing those things. I do feel like I'm getting better every day, but I have a long ways to go.”