July 26, 2014

Quick Reads on the Carson Palmer Trade

-Let’s be honest. If reports are accurate that the 2013 draft pick the Bengals receive only elevates to a first-round pick if the Raiders win a divisional round playoff game, it’s extremely unlikely that Cincinnati is getting two first-round picks in the trade. I’d put the odds at 5-percent. So the Bengals are getting a first-rounder in 2012 (maybe in the 20-25 range) and a second-rounder in 2013 (which could be fairly high if the Raiders tank next season).

-I think Carson will be better than people expect, but perhaps not right away. If you watched the games last year, you know that Palmer was throwing to receivers who occasionally dropped passes and often gave inconsistent effort. When Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell took over for the final two games, two young receivers who are not entirely different than what the Raiders have now, Palmer lit up two pretty good defenses, Baltimore and San Diego. However, I can’t help but wonder what kind of shape he is in now. And I also wonder if he’ll need time to develop chemistry with his new receivers. Palmer liked to get a large number of repetitions while he was in Cincinnati, but there won’t be that much time to do the same in Oakland.

-I’d love to see Cincinnati snag Alabama running back Trent Richardson in next year’s draft, but I’d rather not see them trade any picks to get him. With Cincinnati’s wealth of picks in the coming draft, if they simply hit singles with every selection the team will be healthy for years to come.

-I can’t help but think that the new rookie wage scale also played a role in the Palmer deal. Mike Brown knew he wouldn’t have to overpay (compared with previous years) for the extra draft picks, so it made them more tolerable. Remember, Brown supposedly turned down the Saints entire draft board to take Akili Smith, so he’s not exactly known for hoarding draft picks.

-Opinions may be mixed on Palmer, but you have to give him credit for how he handled his trade demand. He could have created an awkward situation at any time by reporting back to the Bengals, and he didn’t. He also didn’t bad-mouth the Bengals, publicly airing all the flaws and fault that exist in the organization. In the end, his professionalism probably helped the trade get done.

-I also wonder who served as the biggest salesman in the trade. Was it Hue Jackson, imploring the Bengals to make the deal? Did Marvin Lewis have to persuade Brown to make the trade, telling him to put his stubbornness aside? Or was Brown on board all along, his stubborn public stance a brilliant game of poker that brought a lot of chips back to Cincinnati? We’ll probably never know, but man I would love to.

-Oakland really mortgaged its future when making the trade. The Raiders don’t have an early pick in next year’s draft, after the Palmer trade, the Terrelle Pryor supplemental selection, and a few other draft-day moves. The team wants to win now, and it almost has to. Down the road, it’s not getting any easier.

-You also have to wonder how excited Palmer is about playing in Oakland. Yes, he’s a California guy, but is Oakland really that much better than Cincinnati? I don’t think it is. The Raiders and Bengals are often mentioned in the same breath, and I find it sort of ironic that Palmer left Cincinnati for another franchise that was famously run by a supposedly stubborn man with control over personnel matters.

-Palmer’s exit has proven to be a blessing in disguise. The Bengals were forced to draft a new quarterback and it seems like they got a good one. And now, they have some extra firepower for the franchise in the coming drafts. Cincinnati has struggled to put together winning seasons, but they have a golden opportunity to put a few together in the near future.

-Cincinnati’s good fortune continues this season. Not only does the team gain better draft picks than most people expected for Palmer, but the drama surrounding his retirement threat is gone. Now, everyone can move forward and it certainly can’t hurt the team’s focus.

-Just for fun, according to ScoutsInc., some notable players who are ranked in the range of where the Bengals might select twice next year include Nebraska defensive end Jared Crick (17), Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (21), South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery (23), and Oklahoma outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis (25). Certainly, things will change before then, but two good players should fall right into their laps.

Happy Who Dey Hump-Day.

May the good fortune continue…