The Oakland Raiders, desperate for a fix at quarterback with Jason Campbell likely done for the season with a broken collarbone, committed their present and future in terms of resources and draft picks to pluck an unhappy Carson Palmer from Cincinnati.
“Obviously, I think everybody knows that we needed to go out and address our quarterback situation. I told you guys the other day that I was going to continue to search, look, do everything I could to help this football team to become all it can be,” Raiders head coach Hue Jackson told the media yesterday.
The Raiders gave up their 2012 first-round pick along with a second-round pick in 2013 which could become a first if Oakland reaches the AFC title game either this season or next. They will also have to pay the prorated portion of Carson Palmer’s $11.5 million contract, which will be just under $7.5 million this season.
“I know a lot of people think that we mortgaged the future of the organization, but I don’t see it that way,” Jackson added. “I don’t think you ever mortgage away your franchise when you add a big time franchise quarterback to your team. I appreciate what everybody thinks, but I’m really concerned about what we think here and I think we are very comfortable. Number two, 2012 will take care of 2012 when we get there.”
Mortgaging a good portion of the future to attempt to win today can be both commendable and short-sighted. Although there’s no guarantee that those early draft picks will work out the Raiders have built a pretty solid team with the help of Darren McFadden, Rolando McClain, LaMarr Houston, Michael Huff and Jacoby Ford amongst others, all draft picks.
So what will it take to make this a positive deal for Oakland?
Realistically, Carson Palmer has to return to his pre-knee and elbow injury form. There are too many factors to say that Oakland needs to win a certain number of playoff games or even have a playoff appearance, but Palmer needs to be that franchise quarterback again.
“I have been around long enough to know the sacrifices that this organization made to get me,” Palmer said. “I also understand that there is a lot that comes with playing this position, playing quarterback, a ton of burdens aside from what the organization may have given up to get you, you have a fan base you want to keep happy so that they can brag and teammates who you want to play good for and win for, especially the quarterback position, trying to spread the ball around. It is definitely a burden and I’m going to take it head on and do everything I can to win.”
Where does this leave Jason Campbell?
This is the bitter aspect of the NFL that nobody likes. Jason Campbell now has an injured shoulder that he should recover from and no job. When a team makes this type of financial commitment along with the ransom they gave up in trade, Carson Palmer will be the quarterback for the foreseeable future.
“I’d like to take us back to Jason. Obviously, Jason was the starting quarterback on this football team and did a fantastic job. Very unfortunate that he got hurt and had surgery yesterday, he’s resting comfortably, and we’re going to miss him because Jason did so many good things here not just on this football team, but also in the community,” Jackson said while seemingly slamming the door behind Campbell.
The loss of Campbell in free agency along with Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery and Zach Miller will leave the Raiders with some compensatory draft picks that will try to mitigate the compensation given up in the Palmer deal. At the end of the day the Raiders might or might not have the best quarterback in their franchise since Rich Gannon. We will see how it all plays out and if dealing away their future was worth it.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie