Following a pair of emotional wins after the passing of Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders have made a statement that the organization thinks it can win now, baby.
After starting quarterback Jason Campbell was injured (broken collarbone) in Sunday’s win over the Browns, the Raiders looked to the outside to replace him.
They settled on Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer who was holding out and demanded a trade, threatening to retire if he didn’t get it.
In exchange for Palmer, the Raiders will give up their 2012 first round pick and another conditional draft pick that could be a first rounder if Palmer plays well enough for the silver and black.
Palmer has worked with Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson in the past with the Bengals and while Palmer was in college at USC. Jackson will look for Palmer to lead a Raiders team that is 4-2 and just a half game out of first place in the AFC West.
Palmer will likely have to restructure his contract with the Raiders, but has said he is willing to do so. He will return to the state that he ruled in college after not getting along that well in Ohio (he once said he disliked Ohio State fans).
The loss of the coming year’s first round pick means that the Raiders will have traded away all of their picks in the first four rounds. While they may get some compensation picks, the team will be unable to address key needs in the draft.
Essentially, the Raiders have gone all-in in an Al Davis style move that is about winning now and hoping that the Raiders current crop of young talent can continue to perform well into the future.
After a pair of great years in 2005 and 2006, Palmer’s performance has slipped some. While he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2010, he also had 20 interceptions (albeit while dealing with a less than stellar supporting cast).
With Campbell, the Raiders relied on a dominant rushing attack to score points, and that scheme should continue. Having Palmer in the fold will continue to give the Raiders the threat to pass (which they wouldn’t really have with Kyle Boller) to give the running game just enough space.
Palmer and Campbell actually have similar career numbers when it comes to QB Rating (86.9 for Palmer to 82.8 for Campbell) and TD:Int (1.54 for Palmer, 1.48 for Campbell) although Palmer has been in the league longer.
For the trade to benefit the Raiders they need to make the playoffs now in 2011. They paid a steep price for Palmer and need to win now to justify it. The Raiders are hoping that Palmer could turn out to be like Jim Plunkett, a seemingly washed up QB who eventually led the team to a pair of Super Bowl victories.