There’s no shortage of confidence in Oakland, where the Raiders have added via trade two top-four draft picks in the past week. Though last week’s deal for linebacker Aaron Curry was praised as a low-risk, high-reward proposition, this week’s trade for Carson Palmer has a slightly greater potential downside.
But that hasn’t stopped coach Hue Jackson from calling the deal “the greatest trade in football.”
Actually, the greatest trade in football happened 22 years ago, when the Cowboys fleeced the Vikings upon sending running back Herschel Walker to Minnesota. The truckload of picks and players helped Dallas lay the foundation for three Super Bowl wins in four years.
It’s impossible to know how good — or bad — the Palmer trade will be until Palmer has a chance to show that he can still play like he did from 2004 through 2006, when Palmer and Jackson were together in Cincinnati. Something went wrong with Palmer late in 2009 and through most of 2010. There’s a chance that it was more about the rest of the organization than it was about Palmer. We simply won’t know until we see what Palmer can do.
What we do know is that the Bengals have done fairly well, so far, without Palmer. With rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and rookie receiver A.J. Green looking like the real thing and with an extra first-round in a new environment that includes a real rookie wage scale, the Bengals have a great opportunity to move up in 2012 to get the top running back in the draft pool, which could give them a modern-day version of the Dallas “triplets” — and which could lay the foundation for at least one Super Bowl win.
If that happens, Jackson’s characterization of the trade would be right on the money.