Carson Palmer struggled to meet the expectations of the team that drafted him first overall in 2003, but his lack of sustained success didn't stop the Oakland Raiders from using two high future draft picks to add him to their roster.
Palmer could make his debut with the Raiders when they host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Oakland (4-2) is off to its best start since 2002, the last time it reached the playoffs while also making a trip to the Super Bowl that season. However, the Raiders suffered a big loss when quarterback Jason Campbell broke his collarbone in a 24-17 win over Cleveland last Sunday.
Campbell was one of the reasons for Oakland's success. Over the first five games, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,118 yards and six touchdowns.
Rather than turn to Kyle Boller or rookie Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders traded a 2012 first-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2013 - which could become another first - to Cincinnati for Palmer on Tuesday.
Palmer started 97 games over seven seasons with the Bengals before choosing not to return after a 4-12 season in 2010. He led Cincinnati to the playoffs in 2005 and '09, getting injured in his first appearance and losing to the New York Jets in the first-round two years ago.
Those were the only two seasons the Bengals had a winning record, but the Raiders have plenty of confidence in Palmer, who tore a ligament and tendon in his passing elbow during the 2008 season.
"This guy can play and he knows how to play the game and he knows how to elevate the players around him," coach Hue Jackson said.
"There's no question you go on offense as good as your quarterback is. I think he's one of the best and that's why he's on this football team now. I didn't bring him here because he was just a guy sitting out there. I brought him here because I think he can help this team win a championship."
Oakland has not announced whether Palmer will start Sunday.
"It's been a whirlwind," Palmer said. "I understand what's expected of me. I know what playing quarterback is about, and it's about winning. I want to come in and contribute and do whatever I can to help this team."
While Palmer learns Oakland's system, the Raiders still have the option of relying on Darren McFadden, who leads the league with 610 yards rushing. He ran for 91 yards and one touchdown against the Browns.
One weapon Oakland may not have is, in many ways, its most dangerous. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has made an NFL-high five 50-yard field goals, missed practice Thursday and Friday, prompting the Raiders to bring in three free agents for tryouts in case he can't go Sunday.
The Chiefs (2-3) are coming off their bye following a 28-24 win over Indianapolis on Oct. 9. Matt Cassel had his best game of the season, completing 21 of 29 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns.
Kansas City lost its first three games by a combined score of 109-27, but after taking advantage of two struggling opponents in Minnesota and the Colts, it finds itself back in the AFC West race.
"This is a pivotal game for us," cornerback Brandon Flowers said of Sunday's divisional showdown. "We have to approach it as a pivotal game."
However, the Chiefs still face a daunting task with their running game depleted by the loss of Jamaal Charles. Fullback Le'Ron McClain (neck) and running back Jackie Battle (head) were both hurt against the Colts but are expected to play this weekend.
Battle saw his most action of the season versus Indianapolis, rushing for 119 yards on 19 carries.
"I feel like we know a lot more about our team, which is normal," Haley said. "You have five games under your belt and we were able to do a bunch of research and study internally."
The Raiders won both meetings against the Chiefs last season, ending a seven-game home losing streak in the series with a 23-20 overtime victory Nov. 7.