The Oakland Raiders made a jaw-dropping deal they were hoping would save them.http:
We all heard about Carson Palmer’s problems with his former team, threatening retirement if he wasn’t traded or let go of his contract with the Bengals. The Bengals owner made it very clear Palmer’s wishes would not be granted. Since the deal has been made public, we haven’t heard from either side.
Then there are the Raiders, and their never-ending problems. After the first non-losing season since 2002, with a record of 8-8 and 6-0 in their conference, owner Al Davis made the decision not to extend Coach Tom Cable’s contract, essentially firing him. Cable had the most wins as coach in his time with the Raiders. Davis brought in Hue Jackson.
Then came the lockout, all was quiet for a little bit of time. When the lockout ended, the Raiders problems seemed to get worse. The Raiders didn’t have much salary cap space for players, and to make things worse they lost many of their key players. Nnamdi Asomugha went to the Eagles, and Robert Gallery decided his time with the Raiders was over. Zach Miller, Thomas Howard, and Bruce Gradkowski were also lost to free agencies.
The Raiders made some trades, but nothing to replace what they had lost. Then, they made a controversial move acquiring troubled college star Terrell Pryor. Pryor was suspended for the first five weeks of the season, so they were looking at Jason Campbell for their quarter back, but could they count on him?
Pre-season was not a good one for The Raiders, losing every game. Fans were doubtful. When the season started, they barely won their first game against the Broncos, by just three. Then, they lost the second game to the Bills, again by three. Another terrible season was forming, but with a win over the Jets, things began to look up. The Raiders continued with a 4-2 record. During their win against the Browns, the worst possible happened. Quarter back Jason Campbell broke his collarbone, it was announced he would need surgery and would be out for at least 6-8 weeks. The Raiders needed a miracle.
It came a few days later, with the Raiders announcing they made a deal with Palmer. Raiders fans rejoiced, comparing Palmer to the great Jim Plunkett. Both were picked up by the Raiders after battling injuries, Palmer currently 31 and Plunkett 30 at the time. They had similar records at the time of their respective trades and both coveted Heisman Trophy winners. With the similarities mounting, Raider fans could only hope Palmer could have results like Plunkett, 2 Super Bowl and at age 60, still affiliated with the Raiders Organization.
The relationship between Palmer and coach Hue Jackson was relieving as well. Jackson and Palmer had a past, one that was pretty successful. Jackson was the offensive coordinator at USC while Palmer was there. In 2005, Jackson was again with Palmer, this time as a wide receivers coach, during Palmers arguably best season. Palmer had a quarterback rating of 101.1, 32 touchdown passes, and 3836 yards that season, even winning the NFC North title. His season ended with a tore up left knee during a game against the Steelers
On October 19, the silver and black cult didn’t see the results they were hoping for, in fact, they saw just the opposite. Palmer didn’t get the starting position, that being handed to Kyle Boller. During the first series, he threw an interception, which was the first of three. Boller became the first quarterback in 13 years to throw three interceptions in the first half, one of which was a pick six. When they finally put Palmer in, he didn’t perform as expected. Palmer also threw three interceptions and went 8 for 21 for 116 yards.
So now the question remains, Is Carson Palmer the savior The Raiders Faithful have been looking for, or are they just a team with eternal back luck?