Being a Bengals fan I had mixed feelings about Carson Palmer's trade demand and threat of retirement back in January. On one hand, I feel a player should honor his contract but on the other, I could understand Palmer's frustration. A professional football player pours his life into the game and from a young age dreams of winning a Super Bowl. Ask any NFL player what their goal is while they're in the league and they'll tell you that they want at least one Super Bowl ring by the time they are too old or banged up to play anymore. Palmer was past the peak of his career and he probably realized that Cincinnati just wasn't going to do what was necessary to allow him to achieve his goal. He wanted out and I get that.
Now he's with the Raiders and after a night to digest the news I have to wonder who will help who.
Carson Palmer is without a doubt an upgrade at the quarterback position for the Raiders. Even if Jason Campbell wasn't injured, Palmer would have been a better option. He gives them a legitimate chance at making it into the post season for the first time since they lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Buccaneers in the 2002 season.
However, when you compare the talent level of the Bengals to the talent level of the Raiders, you have to wonder how much the trade to Oakland will help Palmer.
The Raiders don't have an A.J. Green or even a Jerome Simpson. They don't have a Jermaine Gresham at tight end and they certainly don't have a top-three defense. The only upgrade is at running back between the two teams -- Darren McFadden is much better than Cedric Benson.
When you really think about it you have to wonder where he would have a better chance to win. The Bengals have been able to head into their seventh-week bye with a 4-2 record with a rookie quarterback and although Andy Dalton has shown flashes of brilliance at times, you have to wonder what their record would be if it were Palmer that was under center in Cincinnati.
The Raiders are also 4-2 and they've played a pretty tough schedule so far. We'll just have to wait and see what happens but I wouldn't be surprised to hear countless Raiders fans moaning that the price they payed for Palmer was way too high by the time the offseason rolls around, and even though he'll never admit it, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Palmer say that he made a mistake.
But, you never know what will happen.
I guess in the end, everybody is happy. The Raiders have a quarterback they think can help them win the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 1983 when they were in Los Angeles, the Bengals got the picks they feel they deserve for their former franchise quarterback and Carson Palmer is back at home playing football on the West Coast and far away from Cincinnati.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.