Remember that Carson Palmer to the Raiders trade that wasn't going to happen on Monday? That trade that had no chance of happening before Tuesday's deadline? Well, that trade happened on Tuesday.
By now it's been established that Carson Palmer, the former Cincinnati Bengals franchise quarterback, will be shipped to Oakland to take over the Raiders' starting quarterback job. The reports say that the Raiders will receive Palmer, while the Bengals will get a 2012 first-round pick and a conditional 2013 first-round pick if the Raiders win a playoff game this season.
That's a lot to give up for a retired quarterback. Even Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said as recently as Monday that Palmer was retired, hinting that the Bengals had no intentions of trading him.
Here's why, on the surface, it doesn't make sense: The Raiders gave up way too much to acquire Palmer. They are now without first-, second-, third- and fourth-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Yikes. They could be without a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, too. They aren't exactly built to win now, but more on that later.
So it's obvious why Bengals owner Mike Brown budged from his principles of not giving into players' demands and making this trade: The Raiders were desperate. The Bengals get potentially two picks, and at least one, that will add to their budding young core that stands at 4-2.
But the move was also, ultimately, a smart one for the Raiders. Here are three reasons why:
1. They win this year
The Raiders and Bengals are both 4-2. But the Raiders were down and out after losing Jason Campbell. Kyle Boller, the guy with more career interceptions than touchdowns, and Terrelle Pryor, the guy fresh off a scandal that kept him out of five games, were the other options.
Ultimately, the Bengals made this deal because they were never going to get a first-round pick in the offseason. But in making the deal, they also kept one more team in the AFC playoff hunt.
Time for your bold prediction of the day: The Raiders will make the playoffs. Here's why...
2. Palmer will be able to open up the Raiders' passing game and, therefore, running game
The Raiders are second in the NFL in rushing yards. Their prowess in the run game has been well established. Darren McFadden currently leads the NFL with 610 rushing yards through his team's first six games. Michael Bush is a solid No. 2 option.
What the Raiders haven't been able to establish, though, is their passing game. They are 24th in the NFL in passing yards per game.
They have the weapons to establish said passing game: Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore have shown flashes, while Jacoby Ford and Derek Hagan are options that have yet to been effectively utilized. Heyward-Bey and Moore both have four receptions of more than 20 yards.
And then there's tight end Kevin Boss, who only has eight receptions on the season -- and an astounding five for more than 20 yards.
No one's expecting this to happen overnight, and Palmer will need time to adjust to a new offense, and to adjust to playing football again. But the Raiders play the Chiefs this week and then they have a bye. That will give Palmer two full weeks before his first true test against Denver.
And Palmer has the arm and skills to open up the passing game the Raiders have yet to unlock.
3. The move keeps the fans excited about the Raiders.
This is not a very good reason, but think about it. The Raiders haven't had a winning record since 2002. The fan base is interested for the first time since, well, 2002.
This move displays all the clichéd passion of Al Davis, just fewer than two weeks after he died. With Davis' death, Just win, baby, is even making a comeback as the team's slogan - because the Raiders are actually winning.
If you can win while keeping the fan base happy -- even with clichés -- what's not to like?