If you follow the NFL, undoubtedly you have heard the news that the Oakland Raiders acquired QB Carson Palmer in exchange for two first round picks – one in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013. If Oakland wins a playoff game in the 2011 season, the Bengals would receive a first round pick in 2013. If Oakland does not win a playoff game in the 2011 season, the Bengals would receive a second round pick in 2013. Oakland needed a quarterback after a season ending injury to Jason Campbell; Cincinnati was hoping to get something for a quarterback who refused to return to the team who drafted him. Let’s analyze the winners and losers of this deal
The Bengals are an obvious winner here. They acquired two draft picks for player that was thought to garner a fourth or fifth round selection, back in late July, at best. The Denver Broncos unloaded WR Brandon Lloyd just a day ago, for only a fifth or sixth round pick. In 2008, QB Brett Favre was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round pick. Without a doubt, the Bengals got a lot for a player who has suffered injury problems and not played a down this season. As of August 31, the Bengals had cap room of over $29 million. With draft picks of QB Andy Dalton, WR AJ Green, WR Ryan Whalen, and RB Jay Finley, two additional draft picks would pave the way for the Bengals to draft linemen, and possibly another wide receiver to take some pressure off Green.
At first glance, the Raiders gave a lot, and, they did, no doubt. With Jason Campbell’s season ending injury, the options were to make a deal, or continue to start QB Kyle Boller. The Oakland ownership made a bold move in getting a quarterback, who, when healthy, has the ability to be a passing threat, especially with WR Darrius Heyward-Bay and WR/KR Specialist Jacoby Ford. Further, going into the season, the Raiders were over the cap, having to release Nnamdi Asomugha, who ultimately signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Word is Palmer will restructure his contract to fit under the cap for Oakland. Even with the collective bargaining agreement that reduces the amount recent NFL draftees will earn, Oakland would be hard pressed to be able to make use of their first round picks, and to get them into camp without much of a holdout. Ultimately, Palmer gives the Raiders a better chance to win; given that Kansas City and Denver have all but given up on the 2011 season, the move puts Oakland in a position to win the AFC West, or in the running for a wild card spot.
He went eye-to-eye with Bengals owner Mike Brown, and Brown blinked first. Palmer indicated he would not play for the Bengals and requested a trade in January 2011. All along, Palmer was consistent in his steadfast belief of not playing in Cincinnati. Reports were that Palmer had saved his money and was prepared to retire, recognizing his health was more of value than football. Looking at the number of former NFL players who suffer from head injuries, among others, its hard to disagree with him. Palmer got what he wanted, he’s out of Cincinnati and in the Bay Area.
How can the Bengals be winners but Mike Brown a loser? Just ask the fan base. Brown has been a notoriously cheap owner, leading the team to only two playoff appearances in his tenure, both as divisional champs, since 1991. In fact, the Bengals haven’t appeared in the postseason as a wild card since 1982. On July 26, 2011, Brown became a well-known sound clip, stating, “Carson signed a contract. He made a commitment. He gave his word. We relied on his word. We relied on his commitment. We expected him to perform here. He’s going to walk away from his commitment. We aren’t going to reward him for doing it.” As usual, the media jumped on that sound bite and speculated Palmer would crack under the pressure. He didn’t, but Brown did. If Brown had never made that statement, he likely wouldn’t be here as a loser. But Brown went back on his word and now is sending a message to any high profile player with the Bengals: If you wait long enough, you’ll get what you want.
This one is easy; Campbell is out for the season. Campbell was in his first season in Oakland, with a 59% completion, his worst since 2006 in Washington, and a 13-8 TD to interception ratio and a 84.5 QB rating. Campbell will likely not be on the roster next year; if he is, he will likely be a back up.
The media are taking about Cincinnati, Palmer, Brown, and Oakland, but haven’t brought up Pryor. Its an interesting move, especially after Oakland drafted Pryor in the supplemental draft. Pryor was suspended the first five games and his suspension is now lifted. The move to trade for Palmer begs the question, will Pryor’s NFL career be as something other than an NFL quarterback now? Time will tell.