For those who have been following the Raiders and the Carson Palmer situation closely, you can probably see a timeline of events unfolding right before your eyes, though the exact chain of events happened mostly behind closed doors. First, there was the injury to Jason Campbell during the game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. That was followed by (though unreported and complete speculation on my part) the phone call from somebody in the Raiders’ organization to Palmer’s agent. Then Sunday night, it was reported that Carson Palmer had respectfully asked Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown to reconsider trading him. Monday morning (again, unreported and complete speculation on my part) the Raiders sent a copy of their playbook to Palmer. Monday night, Palmer went to bed as a “retired” quarterback and woke up to a text message at 4 a.m. that said he needed to report to Oakland for contract negotiations and a physical.
The big question is: Was Carson Palmer worth the 2012 first round pick… and more?
There isn’t any question that he was. If that’s what it takes for the Raiders to continue winning at the pace of an AFC West Champion, then they must do whatever it takes. For all we know Campbell’s throwing arm may never be the same following a dislocated shoulder and a broken collarbone.
Of course Campbell wants to hurry back in his contact year, but for him to miss just six games is a pipe dream, especially considering that Hue Jackson likes to take plenty of time to make sure a player is healthy. So many quarterbacks throughout the history of the NFL have lost their jobs because of injury. Jason Campbell is certainly not immune to the same type of thing happening.
Let’s say hypothetically that this trade did not happen. Then Kyle Boller plays for six weeks and goes 4-2 as the starter. And Jason Campbell does come back after six weeks, ready to play, but Boller has looked good and has found a rhythm with the offense. Do you really want to throw another wrench in the wheels and go back to Campbell who is not in “game shape,” or do you stick with Boller to guide your 8-4 team down the stretch?
Hue Jackson is going to leave it at this: “I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to work with Jason, watch what Jason did, and how he led this team, and we're going to miss him.”
I’m just as much a Campbell advocate as anybody else is, but you cannot have a quarterback carousel. Especially with the 2010 season being all about that, with Bruce Gradkowski this week and Jason Campbell that week and so on – it just doesn’t work. Unfortunately for Campbell, fate was not on his side this time. Besides, he needs to take the time to get healthy and he should spend his offseason learning how to slide.
Understandably, Campbell was trying to get a first down on third down when he was injured, but there was nobody near him when he dove and fumbled earlier in the game. I’d prefer to see a quarterback just straight drop to one knee and kneel than succumb to a horrible sequence of dives. Taking a knee is giving yourself up too.
Getting back to the trade for Palmer, it’s clear that Hue Jackson understands that Kyle Boller is not the future, he is a stopgap. He is a guy that you put in for a half or three quarters and let him finish a game when the starter is unable to do so. He is a former first round pick, but at this level it’s clear that he is a third string quarterback. He may be a second string quarterback on his best day, but he is not a legit starter.
In addition to that, Terrell Pryor is not ready…at all. He has been able to attend team meetings, but he is hardly groomed as a college quarterback and is going to be a major project for Hue Jackson and Al Saunders. His throwing motion is horrendous, he hasn’t taken many snaps from center, and nobody on this team believes in him right now. That third factor alone would make it exceedingly difficult for him to have success.
Also, let’s add the fact that Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, Kyle Orton, and David Gerrard were not an option for the Raiders. Favre is actually staying retired this time, I think. Plus even if he isn’t, he is over the hill and that was perfectly clear last season. McNabb is still in Minnesota and they don’t know what they are doing right now with Christian Ponder and McNabb. They still need McNabb there to groom the rookie and be a reliable back-up if Ponder is what they think he is. Kyle Orton is a Bronco and it would’ve taken more to get him than it took to get Palmer. And Gerrard is going to have back surgery to repair a herniated disk.
Therefore, Palmer was the only option. And the only way to get him was to offer Mike Brown something he couldn’t refuse. But to the Raiders, it’s just air. Two first round draft picks, that is not a player. That is not players. It is air. It doesn’t exist yet. It is insubstantial. Besides, the odds of a first round draft choice working out for a team in the modern era are really close to 50 percent. So the Bengals basically took one player, and the Raiders took one player because half of those draft choices isn’t going to work out anyway. And who knows what’s going to happen in SincinCity.
“When you go back,” Jackson said, “I think you guys know my history with Carson – obviously I recruited and coached Carson in college and was with him in Cincinnati at the Bengals so I have a long-standing history with him. And I know what we're putting on this football team.”
Palmer has been keeping in football shape, working out with former New York Jets’ quarterback Ken O’Brien and wide receiver T.J. Housemanzadeh near his home in California. He has all the abilities of a Campbell and probably more, even though he’ll be 32 in December. Campbell will turn 30 on the 31st of December. The biggest difference between Campbell and Palmer is probably the speed of the delivery. Campbell has a relatively slow delivery while Carson Palmer delivers the ball much more suddenly. The ball coming out of both hands certainly has a clear purpose, but Palmer’s stroke is faster.
Trent Dilfer appeared on the Scott Van Pelt show earlier today and said, “I think we’ll look back at this in a couple of years and say, ‘Wow, that was a really good trade.’”
Seriously, people want to talk about how Palmer hasn’t had good seasons over the past few in his career. Well let’s surround a former Heisman Trophy winner with dramatics and criminals and see what happens. In addition, let’s let him get sacked, hurried, and hit every couple of plays. The Bengals of recent memory have been the Raiders of the 2000’s. Sure they have four wins this year, but their only victory over a worthy foe was when they beat Buffalo. Cleveland, Denver, and Indy don’t count.
I say re-sign Campbell in the offseason and let him compete with Palmer next season when he is healthy and has a real shot to go out there and be competitive. Once you’ve decided whom you want to move forward with as your quarterback, you trade the other for whatever you can get for them. Then you get some draft picks back. It doesn’t matter what round they are because the draft has proven that you can hit or miss in any round, especially if you are the Oakland Raiders.
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I'm getting a bit worried, as Aaron Curry and Carson Palmer are actually two of the guys I was hoping we'd get in the off season. When I play Madden, I usually sign both, to keep myself happy.
Now it's reality. Do I have a telepathic, Carrie-like, power, that lets me manipulate people into doing things. Probably not, but I find it odd.
Carson Palmer is the ultimate Oakland quarterback. Period.
He's everything Campbell is, but has better intangibles. He's a fiery, competitive, leader, very much in a Bruce G sense. He's a guy who gets hot in the huddle, and is generally highly respected by his team mates. A real captain.
What's more, he plays without fear. He has the high completion, high accuracy game, but he also plays a bit like a gunslinger at times. He looks for the big plays. Prepared to take the shots down field.
My two criticisms of Campbell, even though I think he's a fine, starting level QB, who we could win playoff games with is thus:
1: He's not a fiery guy, and his leadership skills are questionable. He's not the type of character, a wide receiver is going to throw himself under a bus for...............As say they would for Brett Favre or Joe Montana.
2: He plays with fear. Granted, he has got much better in that respect, but I still don't see him going for the big plays when they're available. You know, what I'm saying is, if Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers see ANY match up they like, they're throwing the bomb. They're not even thinking about it. They're going to give their receiver a shot. Campbell isn't there yet. He throws the bomb, but only when there's an 80% chance of completion. That's not enough in the NFL. You need to be throwing that ball, quite often, when it's nothing more than 50/50. Chaz Schilens, or DHB can't use their athleticism, and height, when they're not getting a chance to compete on 50/50 plays.
Palmer is an upgrade on both of these things, intangible wise. A serious upgrade. He's going to get this team fired up, and he's going to challenge defenses every time he can.
I feel sorry for Campbell. As I said, he's a starting quality player, who you can win a superbowl with. And I'm more than certain that he'll find a starting job again, sooner or later.
But it's a ruthless sport. Especially when you have a Oakland Raiders jersey on your back. Oakland have a very very good opportunity to win 10 games this season. Especially with their schedule. They can't stand still.
Taking Palmer gives them a definite Superbowl/Playoff window of 5 years. Taking a highly rated Guard, at the 25th pick, isn't going to have that impact
I like the move. The only down side is that the draft won't be as good to watch, as a fan.................That's basically it.
From a footballing point of view, makes total sense.
The picks are a bit misleading. We've got a decent chance of winning 10 games this season, if you ask me. Meaning the 2012 pick is probably going to be late in the round.
And the only way they get a second first rounder, is if we come very close to getting to a Super bowl. So they're going ot end up with either a 28-32 pick, or a second rounder. A late second rounder.
I love the Raiders, but I don't think we make the AFC championship game in the next 2 years. I hope we do, but it's a big reach..................
Essentially, we have got Palmer for something like a 24th pick, and a 50th pick in my opinion. So two in the top 55.
You know, that's a hefty price, but it's hardly giving them two in the top 20!
I think fans just get too excited about first round picks. You want them, as the draft isn't the same without them. That 20% chance of drafting a pro bowler, isn't there...............But you know, look at the odds.
I advise people to go on Wikipedia, and look at the last 10 years of drafts.
Take the fabled 2004 NFL draft, with Eli, Big Ben, Phil Rivers etc etc.
Only 14 of the 32 players have played in a pro bowl in the last 7 seasons. And 5 of those are Tommie Harris, Shawn Andrews, Deangelo Hall, Roy Williams...............
If you're talking about players who have been quality players for the last 7 years, I'd put it as 10 players from the first 32.
Meaning, even in a great draft, you've got a 28% chance of picking up a top player.
You know, what I'm saying is, as you've seen with Richard Seymour - swapping a number 1 pick, for a guy who's already proven he can play at a pro bowl level, is a no brainer...................
This is a great trade for the Raiders....Carson Palmer is a stud, and he will be that intangible that will lead us on to a successful playoff run. The Raiders had to make this move, and as much as I love the draft and will miss having a first round pick in 2012, the addition of Carson Palmer is well worth the loss of that pick, and as good as this team is playing right now, the Raiders owe it to themselves and their dedicated fans to give it all this year, and adding Carson has proved they are committed to doing just that....Way to go!!!!
given that Id trade most of my family for a Raiders SB win, I think that two 1st Round picks is pretty good value !
take a bottled water next time with you LD! haha jk good job on TV man. represent TFDS! good questionaire!
@ams2fx haha, good point. So I guess by that logic the Raiders are still a .500 team, right?
@DARKKUSH This is Bret's article, not mine. But I will be sure and make sure my throat is well lubricated next time...wait that came out wrong.
@LDizzle By some accounts, at any rate.
@LDizzle HAHA! yea i know it was Bret's... figured you'd be around. yea at least your voice didn't crack. those were some good questions though... not just plain jane ones... keep it up man!
@ChristopherMooney@LDizzle Christopher--you misunderstood. Dizzle and I were riffing on the original post, declaring that wins over Cleveland and Denver don't count. If those kinds of games don't "count," then Oakland is sitting at 2-2 in the game that do "count"--squarely at .500. It may have been snarky, but it wasn't at all predictive.
@LDizzle oh right on. yea i knew you guys were there... good stuff keep em comin!
@DARKKUSH Thanks. Although, most of the interviews in camp I was a part of as well as all the draft interviews We are just not usually mic'd and streamed live unless it is a big deal like this so you can't hear us and our questions.