As you know, the Cincinnati Bengals sent QB Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 first round pick and a conditional second round pick in 2013, which could become a first rounder. Essentially, Browns Scott Fujita’s tackle of Raiders QB Jason Campbell on a scramble on Sunday changed the fortunes of two teams.
Think about it. Campbell, a free agent at the end of the season who has been playing well in leading the Raiders to 4-2 record, broke his collarbone and because of it, Oakland became desperate for a quick fix. They see a window to capture a playoff spot in the suddenly not so deep AFC, and their depth chart at QB read “Kyle Boller, Terrelle Pryor.”
I think everyone who has seen Kyle Boller play for the last 6-7 years knows that he is not leading anyone to the playoffs or deeper, so the Raiders overpaid for Palmer. Credit Cincinnati owner Mike Brown for sticking to his guns and not caving in to what Palmer essentially wanted; a release. Instead, he held him until someone was desperate enough to pay a king’s ransom, and he cashed in.
I’m stunned that the Raiders would pay such a hefty price for a guy who hasn’t looked like a top tier QB since 2006. The last three years, Palmer has regressed. While he still has the big arm, he is a complete statue in the pocket and his decision making was questionable at times. But he is obviously better than Boller.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are getting the last laugh. This is not a good thing if you are a Browns fan.
Anyone else concerned about the fact that the Browns are still stumbling through another rebuilding model while the Bengals are suddenly looking like more of a team on the rise?
Its bad enough that we are in a division with not one, but two model NFL franchises in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but now the one team we could always count on for dysfunction, the Bengals, are suddenly in a better position than the Browns are.
Their first two draft picks in 2011, WR A.J. Green and QB Andy Dalton have both looked great in their first six games. They have a legitimate running game with Cedric Benson. If I asked you today if you would trade Dalton, Benson, and Green, for Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis, and Mohammad Massaquoi, you would do it in a second. Their defense has been solid, ranked eighth overall (7th against the pass, 10th against the run).
And now comes the extra draft picks.
Yes, the Browns have two first rounders next year and GM Tom Heckert has done a nice of drafting the last two years, but the Bengals can now match the Browns in 2012, and can top that in 2013. Having their skill position players already in place gives them a huge advantage over the Browns. For all we know, McCoy won’t be the guy long term here (I suppose the same can be said for Dalton, but he has a much longer leash). Massaquoi, while a nice player, is not a true #1 receiver or even close to being in the class of his former college teammate Green. While we all love Hillis, who knows what is going to happen to him long term here with all of the craziness that has surrounded him and his contract talks over the past few weeks.
The bottom line here – the Carson Palmer trade was not a good thing for our Browns, no matter how you slice it. A 4-2 team with a young core of skill position players, just essentially received two extra first round picks for a guy who hasn’t played a down this season and was never going to play for them again.