Cancel that afternoon bridge game, Carson, you're heading to Oakland.
In a shocking development, Bengals owner Mike Brown, who for months remained steadfast in keeping overgrown baby, Carson Palmer, firmly planted in a corner, finally caved, sending the disgruntled QB to Oakland for, get this, a 2012 first-round pick and conditional 2013 first-round pick. Considering Cincy's strong nucleus of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green this is an organization clearly on the upswing.
What a windfall.
With Jason Campbell out for at least the next six weeks mending a broken collarbone, Hue Jackson and company, surely hearing Al Davis scream "Just win baby!" from the highest cloud top, needed to acquire a sufficient replacement. Current backup Kyle Boller wasn't the answer. David Garrard, on the verge of going under the knife to repair a herniated disk, definitely wasn't. And Kyle Orton, despite carrying a much cheaper price-tag, was never a thought, probably because the rival Broncos would never have consummated such a deal.
Palmer, only 31, still has a few serviceable seasons left in him. Last year in a rather toxic environment, he notched an admirable 19.2 fantasy points per game in standard formats, good for the 15th-best mark among qualifying passers. Because of the conservative nature of Jackson's offense, it's doubtful he'll come in and light the world on fire, but he's the classic drop-back passer the Raiders have been missing for years. From a fantasy perspective, Rich Gannon was the last viable QB to wear the Silver and Black. And that was nearly a decade ago. Since then a cavalcade of punchlines have shuffled in and out of the lineup. If only the Purple Drank, JaMarcus Russell, hadn't picked obesity over football …
All components of the Raiders offense stand to benefit from the acquisition, provided Palmer can shake off the rust quickly. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford should see a slight uptick in overall production. Darren McFadden, already the third-best rusher currently in fantasy, also receives a boost. After all, a competent passing game will keep defenses honest, preventing overloaded boxes. One can only hope Jackson, who's called pass only 47-percent of the time this year, will remove padlock-from-playbook and become more vertically aggressive, benefiting all parties involved.
For now, consider Palmer a mid-level QB2 in 12-team leagues. It's possible he could see some action this week against KC, but he'll most likely seize the reins full-time after the Raiders' Week 8 bye. With favorable matchups against Denver, Chicago, Miami, Green Bay and Kansas City on the second-half slate, he could post a number of useful efforts, occasionally finishing inside the position's top-15. QB-strapped owners should slap a crisp Alexander Hamilton on him in FAAB bidding this week.
Carson, your wish has finally been granted.
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