Man it has been a while since I have had time to write anything about this amazing Raiders team, but this was a big move that I had to make time to get my opinion out on.
The Good: Statistically Palmer will boost our passing game significantly (at first, while he learns the PB, we will still be run heavy, but over time run/pass will become "more" balanced). At worst (at least the only worst I want to consider in the positive portion of this blog) he is on the same level as Campbell, but at best he has the ability to become a elite QB again. This also gives Pryor a mentor who has been a top QB in the NFL and knows the NFL. I didn't like the Pryor draft because I didn't think he would learn to be a good passing QB sitting behind Campbell: at best I figured he would become a decent game manager; however, with the tutelage of Palmer (assuming he isn't reluctant to give it), regardless if Palmer does well himself, I think Pryor can learn to become a good NFL QB. From a motivational/confidence building stand point by giving up what we did for Palmer Hue Jackson is sending a great message to this team: he is telling them that he has full faith in their ability to win it all right NOW. Anything less than an AFC West title is unacceptable to Hue and this move shows that; I love his passion and how he has brought back the Raider Mentality!The Bad: First, this signing ends Campbell's time in Oakland. I know no one thought he was the answer, but JC is a huge reason for the turn around of this offense, and I dont like the fact he lost his job due to injury after all he has done to get this team going. Now, personal feelings aside, if Palmer comes in and out plays JC this is not much of a loss; however, Campbell is gone even if Palmer doesn't pan out. JC's contract is up this year there is no way he is going to get resigned with the amount that was given up for Palmer (the trade guarantees he will start next season). I would like to keep JC as a backup, but I think that might cause a division in the locker room because players (such a Ford) have a great relationship with Campbell and Palmer is, I would assume, already going to struggle connecting with his new teammates because of how it ended in Cincy and loyalty to Campbell would only make this harder on him. That being said, if Palmer doesn't pan out we are shit out of luck. There is no doubt in my mind that Palmer has the know-how to be an elite QB in the NFL still, but he is 31 and hasn't been the same since the elbow injury in '08, especially when it comes to throwing the deep ball (a Raider staple on offense. My fear is he is going to take the same path that Lito Sheppard took: Elite to Zero because of physical ability).
Now, in terms of long term costs, what we gave up far out weighs the reward. Let's say Palmer does well and gets us into the playoffs and even to a few wins in them, I don't think or D is strong enough to get to the superbowl (they are showing promise on the ground, but against teams like the Pats, Ravens (which is one where the better D will definitely win), I don't think the D can hold up enough to get the W) . Since we lose 2 first round picks, for a guy past his prime (remember he is 31), it is going to take a few years to get the D to superbowl level (unless we get lucky with draft steals). We needed a good corner/db who can make an immediate impact in this years draft and a LB (depending how Curry turns out) and now it will be at least 3 drafts until we get a high pick to continue to build on this D. We dont see a 1st rounder until 2014 (and only have 5th & 6th round picks in 2012 with a possible 3rd or 4th compensatory pick for Nnamdi) which means for the next 3 years we are making extremely difficult to build for the future (during this time Seymour could possibly retire and we could lose other players without having the draft picks to replace them). This was an all our nothing move with no consideration for the future, and I don't think it was worth it because we are shooting ourself in the foot for the future even if Palmer gets us into the playoffs.
I have followed this team through it's darkest hour and I would like to see this team continue to grow into a long term playoff team instead of a one or two season playoff team. This is a young team being forced into the timeline of an old QB which leaves us with the same issue we had with Gannon - when he left the team fell apart. For this to be a good move for the price Palmer needs to get us to the playoffs this season, deep into the playoffs over the next few years, and most importantly he needs to help mold Pryor into a good starting QB. I am not 100% behind this trade but I am 100% behind Hue Jackson, so I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that Palmer is the answer until I see otherwise.
The "Ugly" 2010 Season: 362/568, 61.8 comp%, 3970 yrds, 6.8 avg., 26 TD, 20 INT, 26 SCK, 82.4 rating, around a 49 on the new QBR scale.
Statistically, at least from a Raider perspective, these are not bad stats. A big issue playing to this "ugly" season was that Bangles were only averaging 3.6 ypc on the ground and even though Benson went over 1100 yards he was never a threat to dominate on the ground so teams never had to game plan around him. Also being unable to get the yards on the ground lead Palmer to have to throw the ball 586 times which is his career high. The D also could not stop the run (giving up 4.4 ypc) or the pass (7.8 ypa). His best target was TO who has not been the most reliable, and Chad 85 was clearly working his ass off to get to the way he is currently playing. Yes Palmer threw 20 int's, but that is what happens when teams know you are going to have to beat them through the air and only have to shut down 2 mediocre wideouts and no TE. Palmer Has a great running game that will take the load off of him in oakland and he also has a decent D to keep him in the game (if they keep playing like they have the past 2 weeks). He was also on his way out, mentally, with the Bangles. I mean when you would rather retire than play for a team offering you 8 million dollars there is no way to say that it came out of nowhere. He gets a new start in Oakland and has a lot to prove and I think that he will use this as motivation to play to the best of his ability... just hoping that his ability is still worth something.
Please feel free to criticize, critique, or concur what I have said. I would love some feedback based on what other think, so please comment below!
Also I have been meaning to take my hat off to Samiam2112 about how right he was about DHB. I had next to no faith in DHB's ability to come through this year and Samiam2112 fought me tooth and nail and I have to give him props for the call. So Samiam2112 congrats on a great call, you were definitely spot on with your analysis, and I feel like an idiot for ever doubting DHB.