With the Oakland Raiders (4-2) losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone injury, the trade deadline has suddenly become a very important issue to the club.
The Raiders have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to find a quarterback to replace Campbell or risk relying on former Baltimore Ravens' starter Kyle Boller, or vastly inexperienced rookie Terrelle Pryor.
Both options would severely weaken Oakland's chances of making the playoffs, which has eluded the club for several seasons.
The two major names that the Raiders are looking at are problematic.
The most obvious is David Garrard. The former Jacksonville Jaguars starter and free agent has been in talks with Oakland but he admitted on Monday that he needs immediate surgery on a herniated disc, which occurred during training camp.
For the most part, Garrard was a success in Jacksonville, but was released for what was perceived as economic reasons, and not based on his performance. He conceded that he had interest in the Raiders, but was in physical pain.
I wanted to be totally up front with them. It's not something that I wanted to hide. I've been feeling the pain for awhile, but recently it got to the point where the only time I didn't have pain was when I was laying down, Garrard said, according to FOX Sports.
So, with Garrard crossed off the list, the next veteran quarterback to pop up is Carson Palmer. The former USC star and Heisman Trophy winner has professed his interest in playing on the West Coast, so it seems reasonable to assume that he would be a target.
With six games gone by, Palmer might consider a return to the NFL. However, the Raiders may not be Palmer's style. He'd probably prefer a less daring offense and more a conservative approach like Seattle, Arizona, San Diego, or San Francisco.
The biggest obstacle isn't Palmer, though, it's the Bengals. For no real reason, the club has zero interest in trading Palmer, and consider him retired. Palmer has made it known that he doesn't have to play again, but if the situation is right, he would come back. A move to Oakland probably just comes down to Cincinnati, who have his rights, but remain stubborn on dealing him.
One option that should be explored is Kyle Orton. The Broncos quarterback was recently benched for Tim Tebow, and with Denver languishing this season, it might be a smart move to deal Orton and get something in return.
Orton is far from an elite quarterback, but he is an upgrade over Boller and Pryor, who probably would have difficulty maintaining a winning record for the Raiders until Campbell returns.
There are other options beyond Palmer and Orton, and the most laughable one is Brett Favre. The future Hall of Famer turned 42 last week, and can't be expected to lead a club like Oakland. Reports have surfaced that the Raiders have not had contact with Favre, and are not interested in acquiring him.
With Minnesota involved in an odd quarterback situation, it's possible the Vikings might consider shipping veteran Donovan McNabb. Though McNabb has struggled since leaving the Eagles after a stint with Washington, he might be the leader the Raiders need. McNabb may still have something left, and wouldn't likely cost the Raiders much.
The Eagles would probably avoid dealing reserve Mike Kafka since Michael Vick often seems like an injury waiting to happen, but Kafka is another name the Raiders should at least inquire about.
Should the Raiders not make a trade, they are making two gambles. One, they are risking losing games with either Boller or Pryor, and two, they would operate on the assumption that should Campbell return that he'd be effective. The Raiders have 10 games remaining on their schedule, and their chances of making the playoffs would grow increasingly dim if they don't make a move.
At the moment, Orton might be the best option, and the clock is ticking for the Raiders to make the trade.