Cincinnati, at least on the surface, got the better end of the deal. It got rid of someone who wasn't playing, cleared salary off the books, and got a first-round pick they can leverage into more picks or another high draft pick.
Oakland is taking a risk that Palmer can get back his mojo in a hurry, and there is evidence that he's already lost it. The Raiders are going for broke and this is as high risk of a deal as there is.
The timing of Jason Campbell's injury originally seemed unfortunate and cruel for a Raiders team clawing toward relevance. And yet somehow, it has resulted in an upgrade? Sure, the Raiders shelled out a steep price to land Palmer -- but this is a player who has been locked into Mike Brown's purgatory, out of reach to the many teams in need. Had it not been for this exact timing, and this specific situation with Hue Jackson, I don't think there's a chance Brown budges on Palmer's status. If you don't believe me, just ask the Miami Dolphins.
So while the Bengals most certainly made out on this deal, especially since Andy Dalton has stepped into his new job nicely, the Raiders are now a team still squarely in the hunt for the playoffs. On Monday, Oakland's situation was dire. Now, it might be better than it was. That's a major coup for a squad that seemed out of options at the most important position on the field.
Brown actually did Palmer a favor by doing it now. He could have waited until just before the draft and likely gotten a good deal for Palmer. But the timing is right. The Raiders are a team with division title hopes that lost its QB to injury, and Palmer was the only thing out there they liked.
The Bengals are thriving and Dalton is having an excellent rookie season, plus he makes a fraction of Palmer's $11.5 million salary. Dalton and A.J. Green are becoming a force, and the Bengals can address other holes with the additional picks now.
Its a total win-win. Even the stubborn Brown couldn't turn this down, and he's learned from passing up two first-round picks from Washington for Chad Ochocinco a few years back.
The guy I feel sorry for is Campbell, who has had terrible luck throughout his career and will be looking for another team, again, in 2012.
I can't believe I'm saying it, but the Bengals just outsmarted someone else. They Herschel Walker'd a team in need of a QB. Potentially two first-round picks for a guy who hasn't exactly set the world on fire the past few seasons? Wow. The Raiders might get to the playoffs because of this trade, but does anybody think they can go to the Super Bowl? Two years from now, will a 2011 wild-card appearance have been worth the steep price they paid?
It's a rare win-win situation for the Raiders and Bengals. Palmer gives Oakland a proven quarterback with the ability to shine in their system. Hue Jackson is familiar with Palmer from his days in Cincinnati and they won a ton of games together, including an AFC North title. Also, he represents an upgrade over Campbell from a talent perspective, which improves the potency of the offense.
The deal gives Cincinnati draft picks to further upgrade the talent on an underrated roster. The Bengals have put together solid drafts over the past few seasons and the additional picks will make them serious contenders in the AFC North for years to come.