NFL general managers I've spoken to are surprised the Cincinnati Bengals acquired a 2012 first-round draft pick and a conditional selection that could become a first-rounder in exchange for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Most GMs believed it was unlikely Bengals owner Mike Brown would trade Palmer this late in the season. Given the passer's age, injury history and lack of success in recent years, they expected Cincinnati to move him before the draft for two second-round picks at best.
Once the Bengals owner began talks with the Raiders, rival executives believed he'd widen that conversation to include other teams. This never happened, according to sources, which surprised some GMs, considering the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins, among others, expressed significant interest in Palmer before and just after the lockout.
With that said, it's almost certain Brown couldn't have received better compensation for Palmer than he did from the Oakland Raiders.