The Oakland Raiders successful start to the season continued on Sunday with a victory over the Cleveland Browns. But the excitement over starting the year 4-2 was tempered by a season-ending injury to quarterback Jason Campbell.
Knowing it was unlikely the team could survive and challenge for a playoff spot with Kyle Boller at the helm, they made a bold and somewhat surprising move on Tuesday, trading a 2012 first round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2013 (second or first rounder) for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who has sat out thus far after demanding a trade in the offseason.
Palmer is by no means in his prime, but has quite a bit of experience and is familiar with Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson, who was a coach with the Bengals during Palmer’s time there. He is also a major upgrade over Kyle Boller.
The question most pundits are asking is why did they give up so much to get Palmer, especially when most consider him to be on the downside of his career. The answer I think is pretty simple: the organization feels that they have the pieces in place to make a playoff run and possibly a deep run and with the injury to Campbell, needed a difference maker at the quarterback position. Whether Palmer is the answer will be seen in the weeks ahead.
Honestly, I give Hue Jackson, Amy Trask and the other decision maker with the Raiders a lot of credit for pulling off this move. It takes a bit of courage to mortgage your future. Other than conditional picks accrued from free agent losses, the team is without a pick in the first four rounds of the draft next season. But if you feel like you can win now, why not go for it? There is an excitement around the team (in fact around both Bay Area football teams) like I haven’t seen in a long time. We will see over time whether this was the right or wrong decision.
Photo Credit: SteelCityHobbies, via Wikimedia Commons