The Oakland Raiders made a franchise changing trade to replace injured quarterback Jason Campbell, trading two high draft picks on Tuesday to the Cincinnati Bengals for Carson Palmer. The trade leaves the Raiders with picks only in the fifth and sixth round in next year's draft.
Coach Hue Jackson paid a high price to acquire a quarterback that he knows well but who has struggled in recent years. He refused to report the Bengals this season despite being under contract through 2014 and demanded a trade. This was a demand that went unanswered. He has been working out in SoCal waiting for his ticket to be punched and is apparently is really top physical condition. He is ready to go and supposedly really excited about joining the 4-2 Raiders.
While the Raiders may get ripped for paying to much to get Palmer's services, they just might be vindicated if Palmer leads them deep in the playoffs or to a Super Bowl. Also, the opportunity of getting a QB with Pro Bowl credentials doesn't come along every day. Not to mention that it could be possible that starting QB Jason Campbell could be out for the season. With Campbell on the last year of his contract, it's obvious that Palmer is the QB of the future.
So the Carson Palmer era begins in Oakland. At age 31, you have no reason to believe that he is over the hill. Even though he was in the Pro Bowl a couple of years, that is the Carson Palmer of the past. He has been slightly less productive the last couple of years and the Bengals finished 4-12 last year. Interestingly, they have started this season at 4-2, the same record as the Raiders. They have done so with a rookie QB. So the argument that Carson was struggling because he didin't have a very good team around him might hold water.
The Bengals had sent strong signals about not trading Palmer, who wanted to be dealt from a team that with only two winning records in the last 20 years. Carson had made it cool to be a Bengal. He gave them credibility. But the trade went down when the Raiders made them an offer they couldn't refuse, especially with the strong start of the team and their current QB.
Coach Hue Jackson, who apparently orchestraded the trade for Raiders, has had a mantra all season "the time is now," and he backed that up by dealing for Palmer, who is coming off a 20-interception season last year with the Bengals.
Palmer has already reported to the Raiders' facility and will immediately start learning the offense. Oakland hosts Kansas City on Sunday and then has a bye week. It is speculated that Palmer has restructured his contract with an extension but there are no details yet available.
While Palmer has not played or practiced for awhile, he has a history with Coach Jackson, who was offensive coordinator for two years at USC and the wide receivers coach for three seasons in Cincinnati. He also was instrumental is his recruitment to USC.
Coach Jackson was with the Bengals in 2005 when Palmer had his best season and threw for 3,836 yards with 32 touchdown passes. He had a 101.1 QB rating while leading the team to an AFC North title. Palmer tore up his left knee during a playoff game against Pittsburgh that season.
He came back and had two solid seasons before partially tearing a ligament and tendon in his passing elbow during the 2008 season. He has not been an elite quarterback since, despite getting back to the playoffs in 2009.
Over the past two years, Palmer completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 7,064 yards, 47 touchdowns, 33 interceptions and a passer rating of 83. He had led the Bengal to a 14-18 record. That QB rating is comparable to what Campbell has done since the start of the 2009 season. But where Palmer will shine compared to Campbell is as a red zone quarter back.
But the Raiders were not willing to trust their future to Boller, who has not started a game since 2009 and had lost his previous 10 games. Terrelle Pryor, a project who will need time before he can be an NFL quarterback, is not as yet a reliable answer.
"It'll be a learning curve for him because he hasn't played football in a while but I'm excited to have a leader on that side of the ball of his caliber," Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "Anytime you have an opportunity to acquire someone of Carson's pedigree I don't think it's something that you can pass up on."
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The Carson Palmer era begins......Go Raiders