This person told me Brown would not trade Palmer before the season, even though he knew Palmer's resolve was strong and that the quarterback would probably not bend and return to the team. The person said the next chance to move Palmer would be at the trading deadline, and only if the offer was at least a second-round pick, and only if coach Marvin Lewis and Brown's daughter, club executive vice president Katie Brown, could convince Mike Brown to do what was best for the team long-term.
"But in reality,'' the source said, "this probably won't get done 'til before the 2012 draft, because Mike is so dug in, and no one's going to make a great offer for Carson the way he's played the last couple of years.''
No one, however, could have predicted that the 4-2 Oakland Raiders would have been so desperate to stay in playoff contention at the trading deadline, and that they would have lost their starting quarterback, Jason Campbell, to a broken collarbone two days before the deadline. According to both FOX Sports and ESPN, the Raiders agreed to send their first-round draft choice in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013 -- which could become a first-round pick based on the level of Palmer's play -- to Cincinnati in exchange for the 31-year-old Palmer.
The level of compensation is stunning. I'd heard Marvin Lewis would have been thrilled to get a second-round pick for Palmer, both as fair compensation and to get the Palmer distraction off the franchise's hands. But to get a solid first-round pick, plus the prospect of another first- from the Raiders in 2013, is the kind of trade that could certainly change the course of the two franchises playing surprisingly well in 2011. But this will affect both franchises for many years. The Raiders now do not have a pick in the 2012 draft until the fifth round. And the Bengals, who may have struck gold in this year's draft by picking receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton in the top 35 picks, now will be in prime 2012 draft position, with two first-rounders.
For the Raiders, they're hoping to hit on a player on the downside the way they hit on Jim Plunkett when they plucked him off the street in 1978 after he washed out with New England and San Francisco. They're hoping a player determined to prove he's not diminished, reunited with head coach Hue Jackson (Bengals receivers coach from 2004 to 2006), will be enough to carry them to their first playoff berth in nine years. Oakland plays Kansas City this week, then has a bye. Palmer, if he can't be force-fed the playbook in time to play this week, should certainly be ready to take the reins when the Raiders come back from their bye with a Nov. 6 home game against Denver.
Five other immediate upshots of the trade:
1. If a declining 31-year-old quarterback is worth two first-round picks (possibly), what will one of the best prospects to come out in years, Stanford's Andrew Luck, be worth on the trade market in 2012?
2. This had better work for the Raiders, because there's no cavalry coming if Palmer fails. The Raiders could get a compensatory pick in as high as the end of the third round for the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. But for now they've traded three 2012 picks for quarterbacks -- Palmer (first-rounder), Terrelle Pryor (third-) and Jason Campbell (fourth-) -- and lost the second- in exchange for picks this year to take rookie tackle Joe Barksdale and running back Taiwan Jones.
3. It's clear the Raiders didn't trust inaccurate backup Kyle Boller to pilot a playoff contender. Nor should they have.
4. Give assists to Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong, linebackers for the Cleveland Browns, for making the trade happen. They smashed into Campbell Sunday, drove him into the ground, and the result was a collarbone injury that put him out for the season, most likely. Without that injury, there's no way the Raiders would have made this deal. So you Cleveland Browns fans, Bengal Nation (if there is one) thanks you profusely.
5. Hue Jackson clearly has the power right now, today, in Oakland. Without him pushing hard for this deal, it never happens. This is the kind of deal Al Davis would likely have pushed for. Channeling his old boss, Jackson has put all the cards on the table for the Raiders in 2011. He'd better be right. Palmer, for his sake, had better still have lots of playoff football left in him.
COLTS WANT LUCK. "You mentioned in today's column the possibility of the Colts having a Manning-Luck combination for three or four years. I'm a Colts fan, and am not ready to say goodbye to Peyton, but also would like to see Mr. Luck in Indy. Still, I don't see how they could have that much money tied up in 2 players at the QB position. Is that really an option for them? It seems to me that the Colts would have to choose either one or the other, and from a football perspective, I'm not so sure that choosing Luck wouldn't be the right choice. Thoughts?''-- Mike Watters, Burnsville, Minn.
For years, Bill and Chris Polian have figured out a way to build a competitive team around Peyton Manning, and I don't doubt -- especially with the most fiscally responsible payments to first-round picks right now -- they'll do the same with Manning and Andrew Luck. If they want Luck, they'll pick him. And I think if they have the first pick, they'll spurn deal overtures and pick him.
NOT YET. BUT THE DRAFT IS SIX MONTHS AWAY. "Has the Andrew Luck hype equalled or surpassed the hype surrounding Peyton Manning before he got drafted?''-- Bob Ruby, of Virginia Beach, Va.
It seems to be a different hype to me. In 1998, there was Ryan Leaf to play the foil with Manning -- and this year, there's not another quarterback in Luck's league. Plus, in the last 14 seasons, the amount of media covering the NFL has probably close to tripled -- in both volume and year-'round intensity. So I'm sure by next April we'll all be sick of all things Luck.
NOT EXACTLY. "Peter...Peter...Peter... Let's not get too giddy [about inside linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis being the only inside 'backers to play all three downs]. James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons have been playing all three downs for several years now... Oh, the hyperbole!''-- JR Hall, of Pittburgh
Not hyperbole. I'll buy Timmons, but not Farrior. In six games this year, Farrior's missed 76 defensive snaps -- almost 13 a game. Last year, he missed 119 defensive snaps. Yes, he plays on many third downs, but not all. And so far this year, Bowman and Willis have missed a total of 16 snaps in six games.
CALL MIKE FLORIO ON THIS ONE. "Your bit on fans rooting for their teams to lose in hopes of "winning" Andrew Luck in the draft has me wondering why the NFL doesn't follow the lead of the NBA and NHL in implementing some sort of draft lottery. In the absence of one, those once in a few years type prospects actually encourage losing. We'd like to think professional athletes have enough pride in their work to play for the win regardless of the stakes, but history dictates that may not be the reality. Case in point - the 1983-84 Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost 15 of their final 18 games, including six straight to end the season and were rewarded with the right to draft Mario Lemieux. A simple thing like a draft lottery can help to keep integrity in the game, even as teams battle for the bottom spot.''-- Grant Jackson, of Pittsburgh
The NFL has existed for 92 seasons without a draft lottery and now, because of one very good quarterback, we should implement one ... and we should do it in the middle of a season without the full opportunity to study it to see if it's the best idea for the league? Go tell Miami fans if their team goes 1-15 and has the worst record in football by far, and they have to see a ping-pong-ball lottery determine whether they get the first pick in the draft, or whether it goes to a 4-12 team instead. So, no, I'm not in favor of putting a lottery in place for something that might happen.
GOOD POINT, BILL. "I was casually watching the Lions-49ers game and was dumbfounded why the Lions would go for two when they went ahead 19-15 relatively late in the game. If successful they would go up by 6. The conversion was unsuccessful. The 49ers then scored to go up 22-19 after the PAT. At that time, a Lion field goal would have tied the game, whereas it would have given them the lead had they simply converted the extra point earlier. I'm curious of your thoughts as to why Schwartz would go for two in that situation. Do coaches NOT assume PAT's will be successful when trying to determine 1 vs. 2 after scores late in games? (Was Schwartz hoping to go up 6 and then have the 49ers miss their PAT (if they were to score)?) I didn't see the value/logic of the Lions going up 6 at that point of the game. It ended up being seemingly irrelevant, but still didn't make much sense to me.''-- Bill Kern, of Brecksville, Ohio
Nor to me. This is a good point. It didn't occur to me at the time; all I thought was, "Well, they want to go up by six, because going up by five is no different than going up by four.'' But of course it is. Thanks for pointing it out.