If the Bengals had not traded away Carson Palmer, finalizing the paperwork just minutes before the trade deadline, Cincinnati would have been forced to wait until after the season to make the move. Common logic would dictate that the value of Palmer would increase with several teams bidding rather than one. That was the same belief I held until the Raiders opened their vault and gave away unexpected riches for the Bengals former franchise quarterback.
But here’s why common logic – and I – could have been both wrong.
The 2012 NFL Draft could be flush with quarterback prospects. Andrew Luck, seen as a sure-fire NFL player, tops the draft boards. Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and USC’s Matt Barkley are ranked among the top 17 prospects by ScoutsInc. Add in Arizona’s Nick Foles, Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley (who carry second-to-third round grades), along with productive passers Kellen Moore (Boise State) and Case Keenum (Houston), and there becomes an abundance of young options at the quarterback position for teams to pick from.
Surely, some teams – perhaps a lot of them – would have rather risked their future on one of the draft prospects instead of the aging Palmer. So the open-market bidding that Cincinnati would have been hoping for in the offseason may have never materialized. And Palmer’s value could have remained relatively stagnant.
So after a second look, we should all be thankful that the Raiders swooped in, gave away their riches, and took Palmer off our hands.
Upon futher review, this trade looks even better.