Well, the Bengals traded Carson Palmer a lot sooner than I thought they would. I figured owner Mike Brown would cave in around draft-time and deal him.
After the Raiders lost Jason Campbell for the rest of the season on Sunday, they became a desperate team. The Raiders are 4-2 and have a good shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Raiders head-coach Hue Jackson, who has a long history with both Carson and Mike Brown, started making phone call right after Sunday’s game and his efforts culminated in a blockbuster trade in which the Bengals get a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick (which will be upgraded to a first-round pick if the Raiders make it to the AFC Championship game either this year or next year) and the Raiders get, well, Carson Palmer and all of his emotional baggage.
The Bengals just owned the Raiders with this trade. Carson Palmer, in my opinion, is not worth one first-round pick, let alone two. The general consensus by league analysts was that Palmer was worth two second-round picks. I don’t think he was even worth that. Anyone who has watched Palmer play since his elbow injury in 2008 (which he refused to have surgically repaired) knows that Palmer has been a mediocre quarterback since then. In Palmer’s (slight) defense, Ocho Stinko was his top receiver in 2009. He sucks now and sucked then. In 2010, his prime target was T.O., who had great stats, but still dropped a ton of balls. The silver lining for the Raiders is that during the last three games of last season Palmer tore it up with Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell starting.
So Hue must really think that he’s getting the Carson Palmer from 2005 to mortgage so much of the Raiders future. I think they gave up way too much for him, but as a Bengals fan I’m certainly not complaining. As one person commented on the PFT story about the trade, “Somebody call the police, Oakland has been robbed.” I laughed my ass off after reading that, but it’s true.
I have mixed feelings about this trade as well. I always liked Palmer, until this year. I’m sure he wanted, and possibly deserved, a fresh start, but he still had four years left on his contract. Instead of following through on his commitment to the team, and his commitment to the fans that he would bring us a championship, he walked out on his team and teammates. That makes him a quitter in my book and I lost a lot of respect for him. I guess I’ll find out Sunday whether I’ll root for or against him. Who knows?
I do know that if Palmer can get his golden arm back that he will more than likely find success in Oakland. Hue Jackson is a helluva coach and play-caller. I truly believe part of Palmer’s decline here had to do with the horrific coaching and play-calling of former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. Hue Jackson will put Carson in a position to win.
Al Saunders, the Raiders offensive coordinator, said today that as long as Carson is breathing come Sunday that he would be starting. I can’t wait to see this.