When The Oakland Raiders take the field today, they will do so with former Bengal QB Carson Palmer on their side. Never in a million years would anyone have predicted that. Mike Brown, the NFL’s most hardline owner, had stated time and time again he would not give in to player demands. He calls the shots, and that’s how he and his father, Paul Brown, have always run the Bengals. It took a number of events in 2011 for Mike Brown to finally give in to Carson Palmer‘s trade demand, and for the Bengals to receive the level of compensation that they did. Essentially, the eight planets of our solar system had to align(remember, no more Pluto). Here exactly is how the planets aligned for Palmer to be traded finally:
Mercury: David Garrard
Garrard actually helped the Bengals in two ways. He was set to be the opening day starter for Jacksonville, but was cut for later turned out to be a back injury that would have limited him or even kept him from playing at all this year. This left the Jaguars having to start a rookie QN in Blaine Gabbert when they faced the Bengals. He made just enough rookie mistakes that Garrard wouldn’t have made, including two critical fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown, to help the Bengals pull out a squeaker, giving the Bengals their third win and helping to build Mike Brown‘s confidence in this team and his rookie QB Andy Dalton.
Venus: Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning is undefeated against the Bengals, and Curtis Painter is not Peyton Manning. The Colt’s offense simply isn’t as powerful without Manning, and when the Colts and Bengals squared off, Cincinnati was able to contain the Colt’s offense just enough to pull out a 10-point victory, giving the team its fourth win going into the bye week, and further gave Mike Brown the confidence that this team had moved on from the Carson Palmer era, and he now had a chance to further improve the team by trading the embattled QB.
Neptune: The trading Deadline
With the Raiders left without a starting QB, and the trading deadline less than two days away, the Oakland was essentially held under a gun and had to make a split second decision. Given more time, the Raiders brass may have realized two first round picks may have simply been to much to give up for the 31-year-old QB. They may have been able to find a better trade elsewhere without giving up as much, like Donovan McNabb, Kerry Collins( who previously played for Oakland), or even former Bengal Jon Kitna. None of the three would have played as well as Palmer, but with the Raider’s heavy rushing attack, those three would have been great game managers.
Uranus( Or Your Anus:) The Raiders
Oakland Has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL thus far. Sporting a 4-2 record and sitting only a game behind the division leading Chargers(whom they swept last year), Oakland wasn’t about to let a promising season go to waste because of not having an adequate QB. If the Raiders don’t get off to their hot start, then there’s no incentive to trade for Palmer to remain competitive. Oakland is also desperate for a playoff berth, as the team hasn’t made the postseason in nine years, one of longest droughts in team history. Desperation makes people due stupid things and call me crazy, but I have a feeling the Raiders will feel like a donkey’s behind when looking back at this trade.
Saturn: Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson was the WR coach with the Bengals from 2004-2006, but was believed to be instrumental in the development of QB Carson Palmer, helping him make multiple Pro Bowls and winning the 2006 Pro Bowl MVP award. He was also believed to be good friends with Mike Brown. Sometimes all it takes is a good friend to help us make tough decisions, especially when it involves strong principles like Brown was showing by not giving in to the demands of a player.
Earth: The Bengals
By the Bengals being 4-2 heading into the bye week, Mike Brown finally came back down to Earth and saw his team had the pieces were in place to have a great team for the foreseeable future, and the best way to help improve this team was to continue to inject great young talent into the Bengals through the draft. In 2005, when the Bengals had their best team in the last three decades, it was full of young, talented players who were just hitting their prime. With some extra first round picks now, we could see another great Bengals team in the foreseeable future.
Mars: Andy Dalton
“The principal development has been Andy Dalton, who has shown himself to be one of the best and most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL. We have a good, young football team, and Andy can be the cornerstone of that team for a long time.”
Those are the quotes of Mike Brown after trading Palmer to Oakland. With hair as red as the planet Mars, Dalton has been one of the most efficient QB’s in the league this year, posting a higher QB rating than Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, and Mark Sanchez, franchise QB’s who were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Make no mistake about it; Mike Brown now believes his QB of the future is the red-haired gun-slinger known as Dalton.
Jupiter: Jason Campbell
Like the biggest planet, Campbell’s shoulder injury which may cost him the rest of the season is the biggest reason why Palmer is in Oakland now and the Bengals have potentially two future first round draft picks. Oakland’s starting QB had played well prior to his injury, keeping defenses honest with his abilities as a passer and runner to help lead the Raiders to the #2 rushing offense in the NFL while posting an 84.2 QB rating. Had he not gone down, Oakland would have never traded for a retired QB who hasn’t played a snap of football in 10 months.