Carson Palmer to the Raiders: Bad For The Browns

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.


  • Jack

    The Browns will not be good in this decade.

  • stin4u

    I’m shocked the Raiders would throw all of their eggs into Palmers basket. The guy hasn’t been good, and they’ve given up nearly all their 2011 picks in one form or another. If they miss on this they’re going to be in a bad place for the next few years, meanwhile cincy just fast tracked themselves to relevance.

    This doesn’t by any means absolve the Bengals ownership and FO from anything that’s been happening down there, but it was the right move for sure. We just need to stay the course for a few years and see where things take us. I’m not worried about the Browns, they can compete with anyone if they continue to do things the right way.

  • Chris

    @1: Even worse than that is the idea that we might be good any time now, but still struggle to get in to the playoffs because we play in a stacked division.

  • Harv 21

    (slaps TD with open hand across face)

    Whats’a matter wit you?! The Bengals make two decent draft choices and now they’re smarter than anybody? Mike Brown gets involved and messes up drafts! Mike Brown drools over guys with character problems! Benson is another walking probation violation.

    Now c’mere, sit down, calm down, breathe, will ya? Any stubborn idiot can find a stupider idiot once in a while. Here, look at his draft choice list the last 20 years or so. Start with Klingler, David. Mike Brown is still Mike Brown. He’s gonna mess up at least one of these picks, for sure. Hey … hey! are you breathing?

  • Stinkfist

    I thought Al Davis was the reason for horrible trades in Oakland. Apparently not

  • mgbode

    I think all the praise in the national media being shoved on Dalton is a tad early. He hasn’t played a tough defense yet, his numbers are not great by any stretch, and he has a ton to prove. Yes, he has been solid. He could be the answer for the Bengals at QB. But, I have seen a ton proclaiming him to already be an obvious franchise QB (not above, but you did say he was playing ‘great’) and he needs to prove a ton still.

    Also, yes, the Raiders way overpaid the Bengals for Palmer. It’s ridiculous. But, let’s also remember that right now the 2 1st rounders the Bengals would have in the 2012 draft would both be after the Browns 2 1st rounders. It’s not like they are getting the lowest risk guys out of this deal.

    Basically, yes, the Bengals are in a better position today than they were on Monday. But, the organization that makes the better decisions will still wind up being better. I’m looking at the Bengals draft history with their FO, then I’m looking at Heckert’s draft history. I am not feeling like the sky is falling just yet.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    Oh, for God sakes, can we at least wait until the season is over before we doom the Browns? No wonder Cleveland sports fans are staring to get a reputation for being losers that everyone in the country loves to see lose …

  • Mark

    About the only good thing I can say about this is, well, at least we aren’t the Raiders. They’ve used their 2012 1st round pick on Palmer, their 3rd on Pryor and 4th on Campbell. That is crazy.

    I’m just hoping the Bengals screw this up as they are prone to do.

  • Stinkfist

    Here’s how the trade went down in the Bengals front office. Adam Shefter reported on it earlier this morning. Sorry, I lost the link…

    EXEC1: “Well, horsec**k… We’ve got this guy that can come back and butcher up our salary cap with his 12.5 million next year who isnt playing and we never want again. How can we get anything out of this chump?”
    EXEC2: “We can hire an assassin, then sell Carson’s organs and body tissue”
    EXEC3: “We can call in a terrorist tip claiming Carson to be the new head of Al Qaeda and collect the reward money”
    *ring* *ring*…
    EXEC1: “Oh look! Its the Oakland Raiders, I wonder what they want…. Hello. Holy gumdrops and lemonheads! A first and second rounder? And that second can be a first? Good thing we arent on video conferencing Mr. Raiders Guy because I have a horrendous poker face. Sure, we’ll do it. Take this scrub and please call again if you are ever looking for a punter”

  • christopher

    ugh…so sick of the media, fans, analysts etc annointing or disavowing QB’s so early.

    Dalton is the answer, McCoy is not the guy!

    I think Jimmy Clausen should talk to Andy Dalton and Alex Smith should give a call to McCoy. You could list a hundred QB’s that were thought to be the answer, started off with bang and never made it just as you could list a hundred the other way.

    Do the high draft picks help the Bengals, of course! Is Andy Dalton the definite franchise QB for them…maybe?


    Christopher – I am a Colt McCoy fan. I think he will be good once he gets a chance to grow in this offense. This isn’t an indictment of him, its more to say that Dalton looks good, AJ Green is an absolute stud, and Cedric Benson is solid. Throw in potentially four first round picks in the next two years and you’ve got something very solid to build on.

    I liked the Bengals better when Palmer was over the hill and they had washed up WRs in Ocho and TO out wide.

  • DocZeus

    These are the type of breaks that never happen for the Browns. Clearly, God hates us all.

  • christopher


    sorry, didn’t mean to point the finger in your direction as dismissing Colt so easily while annointing Dalton a franchise QB….the general local media is where that dagger was intended to be flung at.

    i agree that the Bengals just made the deal of the century and all of a sudden jumped the Browns in their “rebuild” process.

    the scary part to me is that if Dalton turns out to not be able to handle tougher defenses then Bengals are primed to be able to take top tier QB’s for the next two years because of Benson and Green being already in place.

  • Titus Pullo

    If only Phil Savage had sold high on Derek Anderson after the 2007 season.

    As for Andy Dalton, he has:

    *112 more passing yards than McCoy

    *2 more interceptions than McCoy

    *1 fewer touchdown passes than McCoy

    *2 more sacks absorbed than McCoy

    *He does have a better completion percentage and better yards per attempt.

    Not sure that adds up to “great.” I have a feeling if the roles were reversed, some people would be pining for McCoy.

    That’s not to say that McCoy is the answer at quarterback, but … I don’t know that Dalton is better.

  • Du

    Good point TD and nice article.

    However, what other teams do really doesn’t matter if we can’t ever get our own dysfunction straightened out. Regardless, of what the Bengals do, we still have yet to enter the same universe as the Steelers and Ravens.

    Uhhhhh….Still ‘Waiting’.

  • -bobby-

    TD- I would put that trade as McCoy-Little-Hillis for Dalton-Green-Benson bc MoMass is not the #1 for much longer, as shown by the targets Little is getting. In that proposed trade, I think its closer btwn Green and Little (green obviously on top), but at least potential is there for Little. McCoy Dalton are both at a too early to tell stage, and thus you look at “what have you done for me recently” and the checkdowns McCoy has had doesnt look great, but then again he started taking some shots downfield last week (misses, but Ill take em now). I would call the QBs a push, then I take Hillis over Benson, bc hes right there at the grave for NFL RBs.

  • Ghost To Most

    Extra picks or not, Mike Brown is still running the draft in Cincinnati.

    It was a great trade for them but if they blow those picks, its all for naught.

  • gabriel

    one last move to honor the late al davis

  • BisonDeleSightings

    @5 – Obviously, Al is still alive.

  • Shamrock

    Alot to pay but at least Oakland went out and filled a need unlike the Briwns who just sit.

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack


    All you ever do is give negative comments, what do you hope to accomplish by this?

  • DK

    @21 – its his right to be negative if he wants. who are you to question? If someone wants to fart rainbows and cry tears full of kittens like Tim Tebow that’s fine. If someone wants to hate Cleveland, they have that right too.


    ease up dude.