As the 2011 NFL trade deadline approached, fans watched as the Oakland Raiders made yet another head-scratching move. The Raiders have given the Cincinnati Bengals a 2012 1st round draft pick and a conditional 2013 draft pick that could become another 1st round draft pick if the Raiders win a playoff game in 2011, otherwise the pick is a 2013 2nd rounder.
This trade is exactly the type of transaction which left fans and analysts scratching their heads in the last ten+ years of the Al Davis reign in Oakland. Jamarcus Russel in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL draft, Darruis Heyward-Bey in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL draft – Only to list a few – now, breaking the draft bank for a 32 year-old Carson Palmer, who had been exiled by Bengals owner Mike Brown in Cincinnati following Palmer’s demand to be traded or released.
You’ve heard the term “Trade Rape” if you are a fantasy football enthusiast, or a fan of TV show “The League” on FX, this is EXACTLY what happened between Cincinnati and Oakland. The Bengals absolutely won big in this trade.
Palmer is not good. Period. He was never viewed as a “Leader” while with the Bengals, hasn’t averaged better than 6.8 yards per pass attempt since 2007 and has only led the Bengals to one AFC North title in his career, plus one Wild Card appearance. Palmer is, however, an upgrade over Kyle Boller at starting QB in Oakland.
Personally, I believe teams over-value draft picks in relation to known talent. This is not the case here. Palmer’s talent level is known, and it is not good. Mike Brown took a hard stance on refusing to trade Palmer, instead attempting to force him to report to the team. Brown’s strategy seemed to work out perfectly. The Bengals are winning without Palmer, currently 4-2 and 1/2 a game back in the AFC North, now they have improved their future as well. Everyone has their price… Brown’s was two high draft picks for an unused and unwanted old QB… Trade Rape!
I suppose the Raiders are serious about believing they can win in 2011, why else trade for an old and washed-up QB? They are desperate to keep their run together, that is my only assumption.
Next, comes the question of how long it will take Palmer to be ready to play football. Year after year, fans are told of the difference between being “in shape” and being “in football shape.” No pre-season. No playing in the first 6 weeks of the season. Really, how ready can Palmer be to play football?
Yet again, the Raiders make a bone-headed move that will set their franchise back… Good for the rest of the AFC West.