All you have to do is scroll down to our previous post from yesterday to see how much I was behind the Raiders going all out for Carson Palmer. They just lost their starting QB for most likely the season and have a surging team that can make some noise in the NFL this year with the right man behind center.
Carson Palmer certainly appears to be that right man, but I didn't think the Raiders would have to surrender 2 first round picks for his services, and I don't think I'm alone in being a little blown away at just how much the Raiders gave Cincinatti for a guy who wasn't ever going to play for them again and was just sitting at home on the couch. If you read our post from yesterday, you'll see that I was anticipating more of a "2nd round pick" from 2013's draft since the Raiders don't have one in 2012, and maybe a decent young player who the Bengals could use know. I though Michael Bush would have been a brilliant fit in Cinci and is probably more talented than Cedric Benson and could have been the future at running back there with their young core of Andy Dalton, Jermaine Grisham and A.J. Green. But that wasn't the case, the Bengals knew the Raiders have high hopes for this season and they took them to the bank in order to give up their rights for Carson Palmer. So much is being said on the internet and on sports talk shows that I'm sick of beating the actual specifics of the trade to death while ignoring the implifications that Palmer will have once he joins his new team. Fact is, the Raiders will likely be drafting in the 20's in April's draft, so it's not like they'll be losing out on Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley or Landry Jones.
Gone are the Raiders top pick for 2012, and either 2nd or 1st rounder in 2013, but in comes a guy who's 31 years old (not at all old in Quarterback years) and easily the Raiders best gun-slinger since Rich Gannon was at the helm. There is no doubt in my mind that Palmer will come in and immediately pay dividends. Jason Campbell was a nice player, but Carson Palmer is a top-5 NFL QB when on and will give this team an element they haven't had in years. The Raiders have emerging weapons at wideout like Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore and Palmer should make DHB a 1,000 yard receiver while Moore should continue to be a red-zone magnet. Yep, I said it, DHB set for 1,000 receiving yards this season with Palmer at the helm and finally gets the monkey off his back and removes the tag "first round bust" off his back. Not to mention, this also takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of Darren McFadden who was set to become the center of attention for opposing defenses. All in all, yes, I do think the Raiders gave up far too much in order to get Palmer to Oakland, but they knew what they wanted, and they made it happen, so for that, I give them kudos for having the stones to complete the deal. They likely lose their next 2 first rounders, but if it means they're in the playoffs the next 2 seasons, I think any Raider fan will take it. Do I think the Raiders gave up too much? Certainly. But they needed Carson Palmer and have a window here in the next few years to do something special. They likely wouldn't have found a QB as good as him in 2012's draft (seeing that they'll pick in the 20's and premium rated QB's Matt Barkley, Andrew Luck, Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden will likely be off the board), and this guy could easily be the man for 4-5 more seasons as long as they can keep him healthy. Sure, the Bengals will be better for it in a few years, but the Raiders are infinitely better for it, both this year and next and possibly beyond. Looking at it that way, Jackson didn't make out too badly.
Note: Carson Palmer was at practice Wednesday and appeared to go through drills as though he plans to play Sunday, and I think that will indeed be the case. Better be seeing that the Raiders will be parting with each of their next two drafts top picks for him. Hue Jackson has been hush-hush so far on the topic and won't publicly say until Friday, but I think Palmer lines up on Sunday as the starter, and I although it may take him though next weeks bye to really get acclimated, I see a nice season ahead of him with weapons like DHB, Ford, Moore, McFadden and Boss.
Fearless Prediction for Palmer's 2011: 10 games, 197-336 (59%), 2,250 yards, 16 TD/10 Int, 85.7 QB Rating