Raiders Tilt West With Trade … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

He’s been gone for 10 days, but Al Davis was still making headlines on Tuesday in the AFC West.

In the type of boom-or-bust trade that Davis always loved to make for his Raiders, the team acquired the type of quarterback their late managing general partner loved in Carson Palmer. The veteran quarterback had been sitting at home since the NFL owners’ lockout ended, refusing to continue his career with the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was a deal that did not come cheaply. Oakland gave up its first-round choice in 2012 and its second-round selection in 2013. That second rounder can be improved to a first-round choice if the Raiders win a divisional-round game in the 2011 or 2012 playoffs.

And make no mistake the move was made with the idea that Oakland has a chance to make the AFC tournament field this season. With a 4-2 record, they trail the 4-1 San Diego Chargers. On Sunday, they host the Chiefs and then get their weekend off, before returning with back-to-back games in the AFC West against Denver and on the road vs. San Diego in a Thursday night game.

If they win those three games, they would be 7-2 and on top of the division with just seven games to play.

“We’re chasing a championship,” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said with Palmer beside him a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “I’m very excited about this football team and where it has a chance to go.”

Jackson wants to make sure his team and the franchise understand that he’s rolling the dice this year. He doesn’t want to hear about the future. That’s a short-sighted attitude for an organization that has struggled financially in recent seasons, and used and wasted dozens of draft choices over the last decade.

“As for the draft picks, what we gave up to get this young man, I never hesitated because I know what we’re getting,” Jackson said. “2012 will take care of 2012 when we get there.”

After the Palmer trade, the Raiders now have given up their choices in the first four rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft:

  • 1st-round pick went to Bengals for Palmer.
  • 2nd-round choice was traded in a deal with the Patriots during the 2011 NFL Draft.
  • 3rd-round selection was used in the Supplemental Draft on QB Terrell Pryor out of Ohio State.
  • 4th-round pick was part of the deal with Washington that brought QB Jason Campbell to the Raiders last year.

“I know a lot of people think we’ve mortgaged the future of the organization,” Jackson said. “I don’t see it that way. I mean, I don’t think you ever mortgage the future of an organization when you’re putting a real big-time franchise quarterback on your team.”

But that’s three draft choices for next year on quarterbacks alone. Plus, at least the second-round choice in 2013 that could upgrade to a first-rounder. Still, Jackson said there were no doubts in his mind about the trade.

“I never hesitated, because again I know exactly what I’m getting,” Jackson said. “I recruited and coached Carson in college (Southern Cal) and was with him in Cincinnati. I went to Mark (Davis) and Amy (Trask) and said, ‘Hey look, this is the person I think we need to add’.”

The deal tilts the field a bit in the AFC West; although the Raiders were already showing signs they were a team that had enough to be a contender. Losing Campbell to a broken collarbone last Sunday was a setback, given backups Kyle Boller and Pryor.

If Palmer can play to his best levels, there’s no question this deal strengthens the Raiders hand. Palmer has thrown for 22,694 yards during his career, with 154 TD passes vs. 100 interceptions.

It gives Oakland and even match, if not an advantage at the quarterback position when compared to the Chiefs and San Diego, the last two division winners. Here’s how the starters on those three teams break down:









Carson Palmer








Phillip Rivers








Matt Cassel








Just as easily, this trade could blow up in the face of the Raiders and Jackson, who apparently is now running the football show in Oakland after Davis’ death.

Palmer will be 32 in December and he has a history of nagging injuries. He’s never won a game in the playoffs, going 0-2 with the Bengals. After spending eight seasons with Cincinnati, he turned his back on the Bengals franchise, tired of its losing ways and sensing no future with the Brown family in control. Starting in his rookie season of 2003, when he did not play, through last year, the Bengals had a record of 60-67-1, with a 0-2 mark in the playoffs.

In comparison, the Chiefs had a 59-69 record with a 0-3 mark in the playoffs over the same period of time.

Since 2008, he’s battled elbow problems that required off-season surgery.

“I want to come in and contribute and do whatever I can to help this team,” Palmer said. “My mind has been in football. It’s all I know.”

Bengals GM Mike Brown said he wasn’t going to trade Palmer, but a phone call from Jackson – a former Bengals assistant coach – got the wheels moving. Jackson then called Palmer, who he had also coached at Southern Cal.

Last week, the Raiders made a trade with Seattle for third-year LB Aaron Curry and he was on the field playing last Sunday against Cleveland. Will the same thing happen with Palmer? Will he be on the field this Sunday against the Chiefs?

“You think I’m gonna tell you that right now?” Jackson said when asked if the Chiefs would see his new quarterback. “I’m not going to let that out of the bag just yet. But you gotta be ready for anything from me, I think you know that. We’ll see.”

Palmer has played four games against the Chiefs during his career, throwing for 640 yards with 4 TD passes and 3 INTs.

6 Responses to “Raiders Tilt West With Trade … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • October 19, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    An expensive short term deal for a guy who’s been sitting out for a while and will need to learn the system. Al would be proud.

    The injury to Campbell might give us a shot this weekend if we can keep out stuff together, but OAK is no MIN or IND. They schooled us twice last year and could probably do it again at home pretty easily. Hopefully the injury and trade are enough of a distraction to give us a shot to get to 0.500.

  • October 19, 2011  - Milkman says:

    Wow. The hate for the Raiders is back. Hue Jackson may prove to be the next Belichick, but it seems to me a lot of people are giving a first year head coach WAY too much credit this early in his career. And it also remains to be seen if Palmer will be anything more than Donovan McNabb is proving NOT to be. I’ve always thought Palmer was over rated- even when he stays healthy. I am so hoping this blows up on them.

  • October 19, 2011  - TDKC says:

    It’s the Raiders running game that makes them dangerous. Hope the Chiefs stay focused on that and not all this hype.

  • October 19, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Looks like the Raiders may have to dump a QB at some point. Carrying 4 QB’s tells me that one of them will be the odd man out. Carson P. will be 32 in Dec. so I figure he can easily play 4-5 years yet if he so chooses. Once he gets in sync he is a very good QB.

  • October 19, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Hue Jackson seems to be practicing the late George Allen philosophy that dictates short term decision making. The trade may ultimately turn out to be a bad investment in the long run if Palmer gets injured or doesn’t progress after taking over. but 2012 and 2013 aren’t now. In the short term I would say they have improved their QB position and team. Hopefully Clark Hunt will at some point get his hand loose that got stuck in his pocket reaching for his wallet and add some additional talent to our team that will help us keep up with the rest of the division and league. If not we will continue to run the risk of having our season and ultimate progress hijacked if we experience a few (or rash of) key injuries that leaves us short on talent in a shallow depth pool.

  • October 19, 2011  - jim says:

    Not nearly as worried about Palmer as I am stopping the running game, which includes the short flat passes, and their special teams play. If we can nail those two issues down and stay physical with them, we have a good shot, but…………..

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