Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts On... The Carson Palmer Trade to the Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer signs with the Raiders
Picture courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Facebook Page
Hey there.  You know... I wonder if God owns a phone.  How else can you explain the Carson Palmer trade from Cincy Bengals to the Oakland Raiders?  This deal has the late great Al Davis written all over it.  Davis was notorious for trading picks for player he believed would better the Raiders.  And now, we have learned that the Raiders have traded away the 2012 first round pick and the 2013 second round pick, which could be a  first round pick depending on Palmer's performance, for the former Heisman winner, Carson Palmer.

I'm a Raider fan.  I'm ecstatic about this trade.  Don't get me wrong, I love what Jason Campbell was doing for the Raiders.  We haven't seen that kind of leadership at the QB position since Rich Gannon was under center.  It sucks that Jason took a hit, broke his collarbone, and is expected to be out AT LEAST 6 weeks.  The Raiders simply cannot wait.  They have the momentum.  They are riding high and the 2 games that the Raiders lost are against 2 or the top notch teams in the NFL, the resurrected Bills and the top of the class Patriots.  I think this is a brilliant move, but I also have my reservations.  3 things worry me about this trade.

One...  Carson Palmer.  The man has skills, there's no doubt about it, but he has been injury prone and that worries me.  Every time that Carson seemed ready to take the Bengals to new places, he gets injured.  Is that a knock on the Cincy defense?  One that couldn't protect Carson or one on the body of Carson Palmer?  The Raiders have just lost their QB to injury and if Carson goes down, there goes those plans of championship glory, and another injury to Carson Palmer.

Two...  The Raiders have just traded away first round picks that could have been used to better the team.  Maybe they're thinking that they have the nucleus that is needed for a championship team.  They have young, speedy receivers and they have a powerful tandem at running back.  But what about their defense and their QB position?  Don't get me wrong, Kelly and Seymour have done one hell of a job in manning up that run defense and the Raiders have done a respectable job at CB and safety now that Nnamdi is gone.  They still get burned on defense from time to time and a top prospect player could be what they need to strengthen that defense.

Three...  Rust.  Plain old rust.  Carson has not been in NFL action for who knows how long.  Even though he's been coached before by Raider coach Hue Jackson, this is still a new system to Carson.  The players are new, the offensive line is new, the receivers are new, the play calls are new.  Rust is going to show and it may cost the Raiders some games.  Maybe it would be best to start Boller against KC and give Carson a few weeks to learn the calls and get acclimated with the receivers.  Timing is everything and if the timing between Carson and the receivers is off, expect plenty of interceptions and plenty of disappointment.
Fans pay their respect to NFL visionary, Al Davis
Picture courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Facebook Page
The Raiders have gone all in with this trade.  They are showing that they mean business, that they believe they are not only a playoff team, but a team that can make some noise in the playoffs.  This is a trade that Al Davis must have made from the afterlife.  When Al Davis uttered the words "Just win, baby" he meant it.  And he's still doing it.  RIP Al Davis.  Later!

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