Oakland Raiders: 5 Reasons the Carson Palmer Trade was a Bad Idea
Elias Trejo – Jan 9, 2012In our latest radio show, The Oakland Raiders Round Table, I played the "Bad Cop" role when it came to the Carson Palmer trade. Fans had a mixed reaction on the topic as some agreed and some disagreed. Before I continue the bad cop role, I do want to say that I believe Palmer is the best quarterback the Raiders have had since Rich Gannon. That said, here are five reasons the Palmer trade was a bad idea.
Decision Came From a State of Panic
After Jason Campbell was injured, Hue Jackson felt like he had no other choice but to pull the trigger and make this trade. He owed it to the fans and the players in that locker room to do what he believed was in the best interest of the team. Kyle Boller wasn't going to take the Raiders to the playoffs, but then again neither did Palmer.
This trade was made a few days after Campbell's injury and Oakland's future would drastically change. It will take a few years to find out if the trade would pay off, but a decision this major can't be made in 48 hours. Oakland wasn't the only team in the NFL to lose their starting quarterback for the season, and no other team made a big move like this. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to say now that we could have not made the trade and kept our draft picks along with Campbell
Raiders Draft Picks Gone
They may get some compensatory picks for the free agents they lost last year, but they won't be a 1st or 2nd round pick. Oakland gave up their 2nd round pick this year for 3rd and 4th round picks last year. They gave up their 3rd round pick this year for Terrelle Pryor and their fourth for Campbell. The Raiders gave away 3 draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft for quarterbacks.
Both Jason Campbell and Terrelle Pryor Affected
Campbell will most likely not be a Raider because of this trade. He was finally starting to find his groove as the quarterback and the team was buying into his leadership. Remember it was Campbell and Richard Seymour who got the whole team together in the off-season to workout. It was Campbell who worked with Darrius Heyward-Bey and helped him improve as a receiver. Campbell was only injured for the rest season, but was quickly removed from the Raiders future.
Pryor, meanwhile, may never get to be the starting quarterback for the Raiders, unless Palmer gets hurt, which would make this trade even worse. Pryor is an interesting player for Oakland. There are plenty of younger quarterbacks having success in the league, it has to make you wonder if he could have succeeded this year or even next year. If Palmer is our quarterback for the next five to seven years don't expect Pryor to want to ride the bench in Oakland. Pryor has a strong arm and could have added to the Raiders explosive run game, he may have benefited from a few years behind Campbell, but now may have to wait a lot longer to get his shot.
This is a pass happy league and it is important to have a quarterback that can make every throw. Palmer can make every throw in the book, including the throw that the wrong team catches. Only 6 quarterbacks in the league threw more interceptions than Palmer did this year and all of those six were starters in week one of the NFL season. Palmer didn't start until week nine. That may be an unfair stat because Palmer didn't have enough time to work with his receivers, but excuses won't take those interceptions away.
There were many costly interceptions thrown by Palmer in 2011. In the last 25 games that Palmer has started he has thrown 36 interceptions. This needs to change. Palmer will get his opportunity to work with his receivers this offseason and improve their chemistry, but many of the interceptions he threw were just bad decisions. He tried to hard to make plays and it cost the Raiders. We won't know if these throws were due to lack of an offseason with his receivers or if this is the Palmer we'll see for the next four years.
Run Game Will Suffer
Having a quarterback like Palmer makes coaches want to pass the ball more. The Bengals only rushed for over 2,000 yards as a team once while Palmer was their quarterback. That happened in 2009 when they won their division, so Palmer does do well with a great running game. Oakland has run over 2,000 yards as a team the last two seasons. The Raiders should be a run first team with the talent they have in the backfield, and they could get away from that with Palmer under center. We saw several times where Oakland passed the ball on 3rd and short situations, instead of pounding Michael Bush or Marcel Reece behind our big offensive line.
Passing on third and short isn't a way to build a bully. Six times the Raiders had a quarterback that threw over 300 yards in a game in 2011 and they only won one of those games. It's important that the Raiders identity doesn't change on offense. It's great to have a quarterback who can sling the ball and make great passes, but Oakland cannot become a pass first team.
The Carson Palmer Era officially starts in 2012 in my book. We'll have an opportunity to see what he can do with a full off-season and show everyone why Coach Jackson called the trade for Palmer, "The greatest trade in football." Until then, this trade hasn't really paid off and has a long ways to go to do so. The trade was made this season to get us to the playoffs this year, and that didn't happen.
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