Is Carson Palmer The Answer To The Oakland Raiders Quarterback Woes?
Perhaps Jason Campbell going down with a collarbone injury was the best thing that could happen to the Oakland Raiders. After all, this is a team that has struggled with finding a signal caller since the Rich Gannon days back in the early 2000s. Even with the Raiders at 4-2, the likelihood that Campbell would carry them to a playoff berth was sketchy at best. This is a team that has relied on impressive defense and a superb ground game. Campbell has never been an elite QB. His job is to control the game, not win it.
But now with Campbell injured and the Raiders desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive, they managed to wrangle away semi-retired Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals in a shocking move that nobody thought would happen. All it took was the Raiders to mortgage their future.
But will the decision pan out?
That’s a tough one to answer. The 31-year-old QB started his career back in 2004 with three stellar years, and a AFC North title in 2005. A so-so campaign in 2007 where Palmer threw for a career high 4,131 yards but also tossed a career high 20 INTs as the team went a disappointing 7-9 had many questioning whether or not he could remain an elite quarterback. An injury that derailed his 2008 season led to a bounce back 2009 where Palmer was solid in leading the Bengals to a 10-6 record with another AFC North title. But the locker room turmoil ravaged the Bengals and found Palmer demanding a trade before the 2011 season. So what we have is an up and down Palmer with a ton of promise on a team with quite a few weapons.
The bigger question is whether or not the price was worth it. It’s not a sure thing Palmer will slide right in after sitting on the shelf for so long and carry the team into the playoffs. But Oakland dumping a 1st round pick in 2012 and a 2013 second round pick (that could become a first round pick should the Raiders make the playoffs) is a whole lot to give up. If Palmer becomes Donovan McNabb, then it leaves Oakland grasping at straws when trying to patch together the team’s future. No draft picks means there won’t be any opportunities for building in the problem areas. But if Palmer can improve upon Campbell’s season, then it may be worth it.
Al Davis is looking down and likely nodding his head saying “Just Win Baby.”