Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Oakland Raiders trade for Carson Palmer

So The Oakland Raiders, motivated by an injury to QB Jason Campbell, traded a 2012 first round pick and a 2013 second round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for QB Carson Palmer. That 2013 pick could become a first round pick if the Raiders win a divisional round playoff game. For those keeping score at home that means the Raiders now have a 2012 first round, 2012 third round, 2012 fourth round, and a 2013 second round pick tied up in the three QB's on their roster.

Normally I would not be so harsh on them, but that seems like an incredible investment in QB's with no real proof that any of these decisions are going to work out. They gave up a fourth round pick in next year's draft for Jason Campbell. He has performed pretty well, and an injury is hard to avoid. However, with Palmer and Pryor on the roster he will not be back in Oakland next year. That by itself would be easy to understand. They got some juice out of him and an injury ended his tenure prematurely.

However, they have already used a 2012 third round pick for Terrell Pryor. Now with Palmer on the roster Pryor becomes the backup. A fourth round pick by itself is not a terrible price to pay for a good backup, but we do not know if he will be a good backup yet. Having Palmer on the roster would seem to limit the amount of snaps he can take, as Palmer will have to be rushed through his learning of the Raider offense. Granted Kyle Boller is not the answer and some sort of move had to be made.

We could even excuse the trading of a first round pick for Palmer if he can come in and be effective, but that is hardly a guarantee. The point here is none of these moves by themselves should be cause to waive a red flag, but with all the Raiders trades, they now have no picks in the 2012 NFL draft until round five. For a relatively good team that looks to be close to doing something special that could severely set this team back in the future. Of course, it could also put them over the top.

Let us not forget that the Raiders did not trade for the Palmer we saw in 2005 and 2006. No, they traded for a 31-year-old guy who has not looked all that great over the last two years. Over the past two seasons, he has thrown 47 TD's and 33 picks. Those are not great numbers. His QB rating has not been above 85.0 in those years, and there are very real questions about his arm strength.

The better news here is in both of those years he threw for more than 3,000 yards and completed more than 60% of his passes. If he can do that for the Raiders than they may end looking all right. However, while the Raiders are certainly a good team I do not know if going all in (in terms of draft picks) on a trio of QB's for team that is as far away as this team feels is a great policy.

Of course, I could be wrong and Palmer and Pryor could ignite the Raiders to a strong post-season run, which of course would cost the team a first round pick in 2013. We will have to wait and see on this one.

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