He refused to trade the #3 pick in the 1993 draft to Mike Ditka for the Saints’ entire draft. He refused to trade Chad Ochocinco to the Redskins in 2008 for two #1 draft picks. But Mike Brown sent Carson Palmer to the Raiders yesterday for a #1 pick in 2012 and a conditional #2 in 2013 that could become a #1.
(Those of you who have started reading my blog to follow my e-publishing efforts, I occasionally blog on the Cincinnati Bengals. What can I say? I’m a fan and feel the need to share my thoughts on the team here and there.)
The move is shocking to anyone who follows the Bengals. Brown said he would not trade Palmer, and he’s known for being stubbirn about such things.
But was it a good idea? The Raiders needed Palmer to stay in the playoffs hunt this year, and that means they could conceivably earn a spot in the AFC playoffs that would have been Cincinnati’s. (Sure, it’s a longshot, but it’s possible.) Moreover, the Bengals have a long history of allowing former players to come into their stadium and beat them, Oakland visits Cincinnati next season.
Still, Palmer was never going to play for the Bengals again. They needed to get something for him, and I’m on record as having said he needed to be traded (although I’d have preferred an NFC opponent, reducing the opportunity for Palmer to beat the Bengals in the future).
By waiting until the NFL’s trade deadline and holding the Raiders up for an outrageous price, Brown got more than he could have before this year’s draft, before this season, or before next year’s draft. This was a price no one would have predicted.
And it makes the Bengals better. Much better. As The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy notes, Cincinnati could have as many as nine picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts. The Bengals have drafted well the past three years. They got A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in the first two rounds this year. Last season it was Jermaine Gresham and Carlos Dunlap. The year before it was Andre Smith and Rey Maualuga. All six have made major contributions to this year’s 4-2 squad. So it stands to reason three picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts will do Cincinnati very well.
But. . . .
As a Bengals fan, I’ve been trained by the last 20 years to expect bad things. I fear personnel decisions like this one. What if it backfires? Like it often does?
Still, Brown deserves credit for this move. He got a better deal for Palmer than he had a right to. He’s got a new franchise quarterback in Andy Dalton, making Palmer expendable. This is the kind of move that can set a franchise up for five or 10 years to come.
So I suppose I will give the Palmer trade a cautious thumbs-up. I worry things could go wrong, but I can’t deny it was an incredible deal.
I just wish it had been to the Redskins or Seahawks.