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California Dreaming for Quarterback Carson Palmer

They say dreams come true for those in California.  Well, for NFL quarterback Carson Palmer this statement could not be more true.

In 2005, Palmer signed a $118 million contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals through the 2014 season.  Yet, last year Palmer demanded a trade from the Bengals, which he did not receive.  Since then, he has “retired,” holding out for the Bengals to change their mind.  Basically, he was willing to quit football altogether rather than play another down for the Bengals. But, today, the day of the NFL trade deadline (players can’t be traded for the rest of the season), the Bengals have agreed on a deal with the Oakland Raiders for the stubborn (and aging) Carson Palmer.

The Raiders desperately need a quarterback, as their starter, Jason Campbell, broke his collarbone this week and will be out for potentially the remainder of the season. Since the Raiders are having a strong 2011, they have decided to go all-in and bet on Palmer to save their season.  In return, they have given up a first round draft pick in 2012 (and a conditional first round pick in 2013).  Due to the fact that the Raiders have had an active trading history they will be left with minimal draft picks in 2012 so this year is all or nothing (at least for awhile as the team rebuilds).

The Bengals are finally giving into a trade, because they believe that they have drafted a decent rookie quarterback, Andy Dalton, who has proven himself as a leader for the organization in the future.  Plus, the Bengals get to unload Palmer’s large contract.

It is a big debate in the NFL as to whether to build your team by drafting well (getting college players for good value) or by signing expensive free agents (available veteran players who are looking for a new contract) when your team is hot.  Think of it as whether to splurge on a Birkin or buy a good knock off with the hope that it will hold up over time!  The Raiders, a team that never drafted well, are clinging to the real thing with Carson Palmer hoping he will be their ticket to the Super Bowl in 2011-12.

So what type of General Manager would you be: the knockoff drafting specialist? Or, the girl who wouldn’t dream of buying anything fake and stick with the free agents?

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