I've been listening to sports radio, ESPN analysts, bloggers, and other sports writers discuss the Carson Palmer trade to the Oakland Raiders. I finally want to add my two cents. I was shocked first off that this trade was first published as a possibility of happening, due to Mike Brown's stance on trading Palmer. I was optimistic that the trade could go through, being a Raiders fan, but new that it was going to be difficult. I felt that Boller could have been competent enough to run the offense and do enough to not harm the Raiders chances to win. But to be honest, I grimaced every time I thought about what would happen if the Raiders had to throw to win the game with Boller as their quarterback.
Now, back to Carson Palmer. The Raiders gave up a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013; a first rounder if they win a playoff game in 2011 or a second rounder if they don't win a playoff game. To be honest, I'm very okay with all of that. The Raiders have youth, they have talent, they want to win outside of their division. As so many people have discussed, especially recently, the draft is never a sure thing. The Raiders know this all too well. Palmer is 31 years old and he can still play. He's supposedly been working out and is in great shape, but is he ready for NFL action, that remains to be seen. I'm hopeful that he is. Giving up two first round picks potentially, isn't all that bad. I look at when the Raiders signed Jim Plunkett or Rich Gannon. Gannon was 34 in 1999 when he was the Raiders starter and he continued to get better and better until the departure of John Gruden. I honestly believe that Palmer can still play. The year off has probably helped him recover a bit and the most important difference between Cincinnati and Oakland: he actually WANTS to play football!
Palmer essentially checked out in Cincinnati because he had to fully carry the offense and the talent around him was diminishing year after year. Oakland is full of young, talented players. Carson can help mold the offense into even more of a weapon. He's not going to be asked to win too many games. Will there be times where he has to throw the ball? Of course, but not 65 times a game. Oakland has a premier running game and a better than average defense. He has to make smart decisions, make a few plays a game, and hand the ball off. Oakland knows their not getting the Carson Palmer of 2001-2005, but they know he can still compete and has the desire to win.
While two first round draft picks seems steep for a player like Carson Palmer, I feel that it will pay off for the Raiders. Everyone bashes their draft picks anyways, so why not get a quality players that some might actually say is a good acquisition? They will still get compensated from Zach Miller, Robert Gallary, and Nnamdi Asomugha, so it's not like they won't have any picks. They could also trade one of their young receivers to get some more picks in the off season. With the emergence of Denarius Moore, Schillens or Murphy could defiantly be expendable.
This is a win now league. No team tells themselves, well let's wait until next year, or two years from now to be contenders. If you don't win know, you're just waiting around while everyone else gets better. The Raiders believe, I believe, that Carson Palmer gives them the best chance to win. Hopefully this year, and for many years to come.