There has been a lot of ‘what if?' being played since Hue Jackson said the other day that Al Davis and the Raiders had their hearts set on drafting Colin Kaepernick only to have the 49ers trade ahead of them to get him.
Hue Jackson got on the radio with Greg Papa on the Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game where he reiterated that Al Davis unequivocally wanted Colin Kaepernick and would have taken him with their second round pick had he been there.
"I really believe [Al Davis] would've (taken Kapernick)," Jackson said. "We all know this is a quarterback driven league and we knew we felt very good about Jason but we knew we had to get better at the backup position and I think Al felt very strongly about him as I did too. It would have been a very close call."
Jackson went on to say not only would the Raiders have taken Kaepernick at pick 48 but there were conversations about possibly moving up in trade with the Patriots to get him that never panned out.
Essentially what Jackson is saying is the Raiders didn't get the guy they wanted so they settled for Stefen Wisniewski with the pick instead. This despite the Raiders apparent need along the offensive line and Wisniewski's bloodlines being that he is the nephew of Raiders great left guard, Steve Wisniewski.
"This is nothing negative about Stefen Wisniewski," said Jackson. "He's a starting player as well, and yes we did need the linemen but you can't go find really the quarterbacks in this league all the time and when they're sitting there... those guys can make an offense better than what it is and those guys can make up for some deficiencies at times. I know Al understood that, I understood that but we'll never know exactly how it would've went because we never had that opportunity present itself. But, just me knowing coach a little bit, we all know how much he had an affinity for quarterbacks and wanting guys that can make plays and Colin would have been one of those type of guys."
The end result of all this from the Raiders standpoint was Jason Campbell being lost for the season with a broken collarbone and Jackson's "the greatest trade in football" to acquire Carson Palmer midseason.
At the point when the trade was made, there is no way of knowing whether Kaepernick would have been deemed ready to step in as the starter just yet but the mere possibility is intriguing mostly because the Raiders gave up a first and second round pick to get Palmer.
"Obviously a lot of the things that happened probably wouldn't have happened," said Jackson. "But you just never know. [Kaepernick] might've come in and lit it up. Or he might not have. It's hard to see exactly what would have happened in that situation. It's hard to be a fortune teller that way... but the Raiders have moved forward, we've all moved forward from that situation and on we go."
"Going through that whole situation there with the Raiders, acquiring Carson... he was probably the only guy that could have come off the couch and played and gave us the chance to make it to the playoffs. Obviously we didn't get it done and that's coaching, me not finishing, and at the end of the day, that's frustrating, but if you have a quarterback that you think you can win with, whether it's Colin Kaepernick or Carson Palmer or Jason Campbell or whoever it is, you have to believe in that and you gotta have that vision."
But just so he's clear, Jackson wants you to know, he may have had the vision but it wasn't his decision.
"When you look back, do you wish some things could have been different? Yes. I mean Mark Davis has said that he made that trade and I'm not saying that for Mark, I'm saying that because everybody thought that was my charge. It was my idea but it wasn't my charge. At the end of the day, Mark put his stamp to it and said it was ok because he thought it gave us the best chance to win. And coach would try to acquire somebody who would help them win but, he went back on it and now Carson's gone from there. Things didn't work out there as he wanted it to and I wish him well in Arizona and hope he does a great job there... Everybody's kind of where they should be right now even including myself. Things didn't work out there and I'm looking for the next opportunity wherever it comes."
There is a lot of sense in that. Kaepernick is in a great situation for him in San Francisco and the 49ers are all the better for having him. Carson Palmer left Cincinnati, got a ton of money from the Raiders and is in a good situation in Arizona. And Hue Jackson went to the team who got Andy Dalton, who the 49ers missed out on, which led to their taking Kaepernick, and where the Raiders sent the picks to acquire Palmer.
There is one more thing the Raiders lost in this - a third round pick. Because if they had drafted Kaepernick, they never would have spent that third round supplemental pick on Terrelle Pryor.
As for the Raiders, they didn't get the QB they wanted, Palmer wasn't what they needed, and they lost first, second, and third round picks in the process.
At least Stefen Wisniewski is where he belongs. That counts for something.