OAKLAND, Calif. — It’s been a busy last seven days for Nathan Palmer, but now he’s back by “The Bay.”
One week ago, Palmer, an Elkhart native, was released from the Chicago Bears practice squad. Once the phone calls with his agent began, he landed a tryout last Thursday with the New Orleans Saints.
On Friday, he flew into Elkhart to set up his NaPalm Football Camp for Saturday.
By Sunday, Palmer was on a flight to Oakland, and on Monday, he signed a free agent contract with the Raiders.
“I’ve come full circle ... I’m back in the Bay,” Palmer said Monday afternoon from Oakland. Right after finalizing paperwork on Monday, he was immediately fit for uniforms and prepared to meet players and coaches.
Two coaches on staff already have a background with Palmer.
There’s head coach Jack Del Rio, who was defensive coordinator when Palmer was with Denver two seasons ago, and special teams coach Brad Seely, who was with 49ers when Palmer signed with San Francisco as a rookie in 2012.
With the whirlwind of travel, the four hours of light-hearted drills with Elkhart youngsters was the calmest part of Palmer’s weekend.
“The camp went great. I think we had 65 to 70 kids show up, did a lot of drills, had a lot of volunteers,” Palmer said. “There were former Blazer players, former Chargers. (Central) Coach (Levon) Johnson had a chance to speak to the kids. And my elementary flag football coach, Mr. (Mike) Swanson of Monger was there.”
Feeling strong and “running a lot of good routes,” Palmer will now spend his time settling into the Bay Area.
After stints in San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami, Denver, New England and Chicago, Palmer knows the packing and unpacking routine well.
“It’s part of the drill. I’ve learned not to sign leases unless you plan on being there after football,” said Palmer, who still maintains a residence in Denver. “I’m fully healthy, everything is good right now. I’m ready to go, ready to do some good training time.”
Palmer will get to work right away. Oakland’s first organized team activity sessions (OTAs) begin Tuesday and run through Thursday. Sessions also are scheduled for May 31-June 2 as well as June 6-9.
Following the conclusion of OTAs, the Raiders will stage a mandatory minicamp June 14-16.