NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
Carson Palmer being traded to Oakland for the outrageous prices of two 1st round draft picks (one this year and another one next year if they win 1 playoff game), will likely have little effect on the outcome of the Patriots season.
The trade may however wind up affecting where the Patriots will be picking in the 2nd round in next April’s NFL Draft.
Last April, Bill Belichick was able to swindle another potentially high draft pick out of Al Davis. This time the trade netted the Patriots a 2nd-round pick. (Full list of 2012 Patriots Draft Picks)
The trade came at a point in the draft where it seemed like Belichick wasn’t fond of the value on the board. Naturally, the first thing that came to the minds of Patriot fans is that we would have another top 5 pick in the second round. With Oakland looking like a legitimate NFL team so far this season it is unlikely we will be picking where we did last year. How will Carson Palmer’s arrival in Oakland affect that pick?
Let me start off by saying Carson Palmer is no franchise savior. Giving up basically two first round draft picks for him is crazy. Especially for a team that has already traded many of their future picks away in questionable deals. Asking him to come into a new team 6 games into the season and make them better is a tall task.
Hue Jackson is familiar with Palmer and Mike Brown from his time as Bengals WR coach and his relationship with both of them was likely a catalyst to a deal being struck.
Over the course of the last two seasons I have been able to watch a lot of Bengals games. During those games it became pretty evident to me that Carson Palmer wasn’t the same QB he had be a few years earlier. At a point in his career where he should have been in the prime and in an offense that was full of weapons I saw him become more of a liability than a pro bowl QB.
Palmer’s main weakness over the last two seasons has been his decision making. Time after time it seemed Palmer would throw a bad interception that would cost his team. As the situation got more important it seemed like he played worse. 33 interceptions over the last two years is an alarming number, especially when you consider the experienced WR he was throwing to. Another problem Cincinnati had last year was that they abandoned the running game. Palmer threw the ball 586 times which is by far the most of his career. They were in a lot of 2nd and 3rd and longs which led to forced throws and interceptions. Going to an Oakland team that is as run heavy as any in the league, will be good for Palmer, as he won’t be asked to carry as much of the offense as he did in Cincinnati.
Right now the Raiders sit at 4-2 with 10 games left to be played in the season. If the draft were to be held today the Patriots pick would be approximately 53rd overall. Looking ahead at Oakland’s schedule they have some very tough games remaining on their schedule, including games against Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit and San Diego. I would assume that the Raiders at best will finish 10-6 which should be good enough for a wild card in this years playoffs. At worst they could finish 7-9 or 8-8 and out of the playoff mix.
Will the addition of Carson Palmer change their record that much? I doubt it. While Palmer is better than Jason Campbell or Kyle Boller, the improvement isn’t as great as it once was. When you take into account the midseason trade and the fact the last time anyone has seen Carson Palmer was tailgating at a USC football game; it makes me think Palmer is likely to struggle for the first few weeks.
When next April comes around I fully expect the Patriots to be picking somewhere in the middle of the second round. Patriots fan’s best bet would be hoping that the Saints collapse and miss the playoffs in the ultra competitive NFC South as we hold their first round pick this year. How much will the Carson Palmer trade affect the Patriots draft pick? Not much if you ask me.