Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Carson Palmer Trade


That's what I wrote in an email upon hearing the news the Oakland Raiders traded their 2012 first-round pick and a contingent 2013 first-round pick for Cincinnati Bengals QB-in-exile Carson Palmer.

I've had more time to digest the transaction. I still don't like the deal but it's somewhat understandable. First off, the Raiders quarterback situation was never on solid ground. Jason Campbell was a competent signal caller before a pair of Browns defenders smashed his collarbone the other day. If backup Kyle Boller is the answer then your team is asking the wrong question. And Terrelle Pryor might develop into a good NFL QB down the road but he needs a lot of seasoning.

So the 4-2 Raiders obviously need a quarterback moving forward to reach the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. Perhaps the most logical QB on the market, David Garrard, wasn't healthy and opted for surgery. Instead of picking up another retread like Josh McCown the team decided to make a huge splash.

It's an enormous price to pay. Two first-round picks could have started the conversation for acquiring a Landry Jones, Matt Barkley or even Andrew Luck several months from now.

And who knows how well Carson Palmer will respond? There are all sorts of pros and cons with him. He's a pretty good QB but on the wrong side of thirty. He's well rested... to the point of perhaps being rusty. He was a leader on his team... and later quit on said team.

Palmer had some of his best years when Raiders head coach and current de-facto GM Hue Jackson was coaching him in Cincinnati early in his career. The gunslinger will have plenty of toys to throw to in Oakland. Jacoby Ford is a speedy deep threat, Denarius Moore has emerged as a promising rookie and Derek Hagan is a physical possession guy. Also Chaz Schilens is getting healthy, Kevin Boss is a reliable TE and even the maligned Darrius Heyward-Bey has improved. Perhaps the Silver & Black will rejuvenate the former overall #1 pick.

Speaking of picks it's disheartening to have Oakland once again lose draft picks. In recent years the franchise has done a good job of selecting quality players particularly in the later rounds.

But for now the Raiders clearly aren't concerned about the future. Just Win, Baby. The eternal flame that represents Al Davis must be burning bright this morning.

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