Carson Palmer traded to the Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer at his Raiders press conference (Credit: ESPN)

The deadlock between Cincinnati Bengals management and their Pro Bowl QB Carson Palmer has ended with a trade to the Oakland Raiders.

Prior to the start of this season, Carson Palmer said he would retire if he were not traded from the Bengals. The statement was met with defiance by the front office in Cincinnati, who were adamant that they would not get rid of their franchise quarterback. They drafted Andy Dalton out of TCU to take Palmer’s place in the event that he was firm to his word. With the rookie playing well and Carson Palmer holding firm to his original stance, Bengals ownership received an offer they couldn’t refuse.

When Jason Campbell broke his collarbone in Week 6, the Oakland Raiders knew they had to make a move to bring in a replacement for their starting quarterback, as their backups weren’t capable to lead the Silver & Black to the heights they were expecting this season. Given the woeful play of division opponents, Oakland saw the opportunity to surpass the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos and vie for a wild card spot, if not the AFC West division title.

The post season in their sights, the Oakland Raiders management targeted Carson Palmer in a trade, which was completed Tuesday. In return for Palmer, the Bengals will receive two high draft picks over the next two years, but the price tag has some fans saying the Raiders were “high” when they made the deal.

On paper, the deal says that Palmer could cost the Oakland Raiders their first round draft pick in the 2012 draft and their first round draft pick in the 2013 draft. To many fans, that sounds like Oakland is mortgaging their future for a commodity which might not be worth it. Sure, Palmer is a former Pro Bowl QB, but he’s 32 years old, hasn’t suited up recently, and has questionable skills following his leg injury from a few years ago.

What fans need to realize is that the 2013 pick is conditional. The pick is actually a 2nd rounder, with the price tag elevating to a 1st round pick ONLY if the Raiders advance to the AFC Championship game in the 2011 season or the 2012 season.

If they get to their conference championship game, maybe the price tag for Palmer would be worth it, though I hope there’s a clause in the contract that Palmer would have to start a certain number of games during that time, and not just be a member of a Jason Campbell (or Terrelle Pryor) helmed squad.

Whatever the outcome, the Raiders can be praised for at least being bold and going after an opportunity to take the next step with their team instead of sitting back, doing nothing and being satisfied with the mediocrity they’d achieve if they didn’t trade for Palmer.

Fantasy football take: Don’t consider Carson Palmer a viable fantasy football option unless you’re in an extremely deep league and you don’t have any other options. It’ll take him a while to get back into game shape, having not competed in any pre-season games and never having thrown to the wide receivers he’ll be targeting when he’s next under center. If you’re in a dynasty league or you can start multiple quarterbacks, he might be considered a decent pick up to store on your roster for games late this season. Once he gets the timing right with his receivers, Palmer should be a very valuable asset to the Raiders.