Al Davis Managing from the Grave?

So, Al Davis is at it again. That’s my only explanation. Who else could have orchestrated this sorry excuse for a trade?

Even from the grave a continually senile Al Davis is still finding ways to derail his Oakland Raiders who have finally started to get things back on track. Giving up a 2012 first round and a 2013 conditional pick, which could end up as high as a first rounder depending on Carson Palmer’s play, sums up everything we have been taught at the Oakland Raider school of General Managing for the past decade.

Just win baby!

With Jason Campbell on the shelf for at least several weeks, the Oakland Raiders obviously felt they had to make a move to stay in the playoff race. Jason Campbell has been about as good as his ol’ game managing self can be. It has been enough to put his Raiders at 4-2 after 7 weeks of the season.

Related: Jason Campbell the Solution? Don’t Think So.

However, the goal in any professional sports league is to build a perennial winner. The Oakland Raiders haven’t been able to build a once in a decade winner. This trade sure isn’t putting them in the right direction.

It is 1 step forward and 2 steps back playing on repeat.

The Raiders have now spent 3 picks (1st, 3rd and 4th rounder) in 2011 on three separate quarterbacks. Yes, 3.

This trade was not necessary and vital for a team that, at best, was bound for a first round playoff exit. This was not their final shot at glory à la Brett Favre. This was a team at last giving their faithful fan base a legitimate reason to get rowdy every Sunday.

The draft, on the other hand, is necessary and vital for a team attempting to build a competitive team on a yearly basis in the NFL. In no other league is the draft more vital than the NFL. With so much talent from around the country and so many roster spots to go around, talent can be found anywhere from round 1 through 7.

It’s a travesty when teams fail to understand the value of the draft and the Raiders have excelled at this. Think Richard Seymour.

I would have expected a trade like this from a 14-year-old fantasy football player reminiscing back to his elementary school days when Carson Palmer was his favourite player. I wouldn’t have expected the Bengals to get this sort of value for a pseudo-retired past his prime pro bowler. Not even from the Oakland Raiders.

But give credit where credit is due. Owner Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals refused to give in to Carson Palmer’s ridiculous demands and he was rewarded for it. With a little luck from Jason Campbell’s injury, Brown was able to receive tremendous value for his former franchise quarterback.

What can you say though about a man who went all Chad Ochocinco eccentric on us? Carson Palmer is going to be 32 in December and hasn’t given any reason for us to believe that he will play anywhere close to his former self. He also hasn’t played a down of football for quite a while now.

What do the Oakland Raiders expect?

They would be lucky if Carson Palmer could put up some vintage Trent Dilfer numbers.

The Raiders are set to pay the full amount of Carson Palmer’s $11.5 million 2011 contract. In addition, Palmer’s contract runs through 2014 season so it is quite possible, as SI’s Chris Burke points out, that Jason Campbell has “played his last down in Oakland.”

In an attempt to salvage a season that was inevitably lost after Jason Campbell’s injury, the Raiders have compromised the future of their franchise…yet again.

I guess “just win baby” is still at all costs necessary for this much maligned franchise.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

Subscribe to my blog too and you can get the latest posts such as Brett Favre is Still the Best Torso

About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

25 Responses to Al Davis Managing from the Grave?

  1. P. Keosila says:

    Thanks for the kind reply to my post. Your article was an awesome read, with fantastic writing. I love, LOVE drama in sports, and this season has been filled to the effing brim with bubbly sports goodness to write about. I’m new to this blogging thing and have already met some cool like minded individuals. I see you are really established with a long blog history, so it makes me feel even better that I got you to comment on mine. a new Fan

  2. tophatal says:


    No one ever said you had to be intelligent to be a GM or an owner in the NFL ! In today’s game , it’s win at all costs , by doing whatever it takes . See Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder for that . Their respective records and lack of tangible success over the past decade speaks bears this out .

    tophatal ……

  3. The Raiders had to do something with Campbell’s injury. They obviously didn’t have confidence in his backups.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this move plays out.

    I’d dare to venture, however, that most Raider fans are okay with the move.

  4. chappy81 says:

    Wow, I have to completely disagree with you that the Seymour trade was a bad one. He changed the culture of our defense. There’s noway we’d be as physical as we are now without him leading the way. Speaking of the Patriots they’re always heralded for getting so many draft picks and using them so well. How are all those 10 picks in the secondary working out for them the past three years? Great call on the draft being necessary to build a team…

    Aside from Seymour and Bush, the Raiders are pretty locked in with most of their position players, so I don’t see it as a terrible thing. They are fairly young in general, so it seems like a valid move. Two first rounders might have been a little steep, but we all know the Raiders go all in every year. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but I’d rather live in the now than in the future… Maybe that’s just me and the way Al taught me to think… Plus, the best recruits left college last year if they could, because they were scared of what the new pay scale would be. Not to say there won’t be anyone good in the draft, but it won’t be as good a class as last year…

    • Chris Ross says:

      It’s not as if the Raiders were a Richard Seymour away from being a legitimate contender. If he did in fact change the culture of the defence it still doesn’t matter because giving away a potentially very high first round pick for a defensive player that won’t transform a team into a legit super bowl contender is way too steep a price. That’s why I think it was a bad trade. A basement team should not be making a trade like that. A basement team should be using their draft picks to build and you need to have some patience. Think Detroit Lions after Matt Millen.

  5. Well, I think that was an interesting post indeed, but I believe Palmer is going to do good things for Oakland, I think Hue is gonna get him polished up for the seasons to come. But you definitely has some promising blogging skills.

  6. brim156 says:

    I appreciate the comment on my wall post and interesting that me and you have tight facts on how the Oakland Raiders will be effective with the pick up of Carson Palmer. R.I.P. Al Davis but I think Hue Jackson is going to bring that same spark again as he did with the Bengals. My other opinion is that I think the Raiders could have waited to pick up a liable QB in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders are pretty good on defense this year. When the RAIDERS played against the TEXANS(MY FAVORITE TEAM) on the last play, The raiders only had 10 people on the field forcing a last minute turnover by Michael Huff. Now, if that isn’t amazing I don’t know what is but I’m not too worried about the Oakland Raiders QB situation. Especially when you have a great Running Back (Darren McFadden).

  7. footballnutz17 says:

    I can’t believe the Raiders traded for Palmer. When I read that (second para of this post), I was sitting in shock w/ my mouth open.

    Still can’t believe it man…I think he’ll do decent things in Oakland, better than Boller or Pryor no doubt

  8. adsixx says:

    Thanks for being a reader and your comments, I enjoyed reading your article. I guess time will tell if the Raiders gave up too much for Palmer, but I have to agree with you at the moment. The Raiders don’t have a pick until the 5th round next year, but maybe this is why Al Davis fired Tom Cable last season causing all that controversy. Davis was able to get one of his guys into the drivers seat while he still could, and is now, as you said “managing from the grave.” If nothing else, I atleast have increased interest in the Raiders, which is something West Coast markets have been trying to accomplish among eastern residents for decades. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  9. aattarw says:

    I appreciate the comment and I agree with the sentiment of your post. As for your blog in general, I like your writing quite a bit. The best advice I can give you is just read and write as much as you can. The key is to develop a consistent voice. Find writers you enjoy reading on a consistent basis and notice how the formulate and develop ideas and try to emulate it using your own voice. Hope this helps and keep at it.

  10. Teeblerone says:

    I don’t know if we can give Mike Brown credit for this move. He’s pretty consistently stood in the way of the Bengals being successful, but has gotten some very lucky breaks the last few years, with Cedric Benson’s re-emergence, Andy Dalton falling to him in the second round and then outplaying expectations, and A.J. Green being an absolute beast and long time number 1 wide receiver in the league. Brown would have gladly let Palmer rot on the shelf out of principle, but the Raiders offered up the moon, which made it easy for him to let go of that stubborn stance.

    As for Palmer being done, I don’t think he’s as finished as you may think. Hue Jackson was with him in Cincinnati during his big years and he still sees something in him that made him want to make the trade. Palmer has also been miserable in Cincinnati, unhappy with the front office, the ownership, the facilities, the fans, everybody, which couldn’t have helped his focus on the field. Now he gets to go back to California, though a little further north maybe than he’d like, and he gets a fresh start with an organization that’s going to do whatever they think will help the team win. He could easily be their next Rich Gannon.

  11. James Masini says:

    Hey, thanks for commenting my blog ( Really appreciate it.

    I agree with you on this one. It’s an interesting move although I suspect it’s a move that the Raiders will live to regret but let’s face it, Kyle Boller was never going to cut it, Campbell might as well be on IR and Pryor is nowhere near starting.

    It’s brave and I think Palmer MAY be able do a job but in a QB heavy 2012 draft, I think the Raiders could have looked to free-agency (or a mid/late comp pick for Orton) to see them through and build from there. As it is, Oakland have given up A LOT with little hope of building around it.but it’s worth noting that IF Campbell recovers, he will potentially have a bit of trade value. I can see someone like Cleveland or Jacksonville investing in him to act as a reliable backup.

  12. Bret Shroats says:

    No doubt that this is a fantastic trade…
    for my Bengals.

    All kidding aside I agree that potentially two 1st rounders was too much for a guy who struggled last season and hasn’t played in awhile.

    Also it was something Oakland just had to do. If Terrelle Pryor is your best quarterback available then you need to make a deal.

    I feel Palmer will do just fine in Oakland, and maybe, just maybe the Bengals and Raiders can play each other in the play-offs.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog,

  13. JW says:

    You have to understand that value is in the eyes of those who are making the trades. The Bengals got nothing to lose on this deal; Palmer was never going to play again for them anyway.

    To the Raiders, they get a quarterback who can create some buzz right now. This team hasn’t given its fans anything to care about in ten years. In other words, the future doesn’t mean much if you can’t start generating some interest now. Not to mention, this team is trying to get a stadium deal, which means politics, which means publicity. This means a quarterback in hand is worth two picks in the bush.

    Besides, it’s not like the Raiders are flush with choices. Once Campbell got hurt, you had to do something. Orton was never an option, the Broncos were never going to trade him within their own division. David Garrard turned them down. Due to the aforementioned stadium discussions, there some pressure in Oakland to get something done now.

    Lastly, the idea that the Raiders gave up “a lot” has a big hole in it. They just as likely gave up nothing. Draft picks don’t have any value whatsoever until you know what you got with them, and you don’t know that until at least two years after you’ve used them. Not to mention, draft picks can easily have a crushing negative value (does the word “JaMarcus” mean anything to you?) If your organization can’t evaluate college college players (and anybody who added “JaMarcus” to our lexicon.fits that description), they may be better off trading picks (the proverbial “devil they don’t know”) for a known commodity. Even the Raiders know what they are getting in Carson Palmer.

    For a team that has a lot of “now” pressure and not a lot of future anything, you worry about “now” now, and “later” later.

    • Chris Ross says:

      You are basically making my point even clearer when you say that you might as well trade away your picks if your organization can’t evaluate players. The Raiders and other teams who don’t put a major emphasis on the draft should shift their thinking and start spending significant time, effort and money on drafting and scouting. You can’t compete in the NFL on a yearly basis if you don’t draft well. I can’t stress enough how well the New England Patriots do this and the evidence is self-explanatory.

      Also, Carson Palmer is far from a known commodity considering he looks to be on the decline and hasn’t been practicing for a long time now. You can’t keep totally discounting the future and saying it is all about “now” because if you only worry about now then once the future becomes the present then you essentially have no present because instead you chose to go all-in at a completely inopportune moment. I see why Hue Jackson does this because as a coach he wants to win now but the bottom line is that Oakland is are setting themselves up for another decade of failure if they keep wanting to make trades like this. The focus has to shift.

      • JW says:

        As far as the “future” is concerned…Do any of the people in the Raider front office think they have a future if they don’t do something now? Big Al is gone, and nobody knows what the new guy is going to do. Always looks better up front to have made a move than not.

        Not all decisions from a management standpoint are framed in what’s best for the future. Managers who aren’t sure they have a future aren’t going to give a shit about tomorrow.
        Besides, they know enough about Palmer – they know he isn’t Terrelle Pryor and they know he isn’t Kyle Boller. That’s good enough for them at this point.

  14. Ryan Karhut says:

    Hey Chris great read as always. I would disagree with you. I think Carson is a great fit for the Silver and Black. Hue Jackson has known him since high school. Recruited him and coached him at USC. Jackson also coached him in Cincinnati. Boomer Esiason is one of the best QB’s of all time and he didn’t win anything. The reason he didn’t win anything is he played for a horrible organization. The Bengals have half of the front office staff as the next NFL team. They cut corners everywhere to save money.

    The Raiders have a great receiving core filled with speed and athleticism. I know it has been a while but last time we seen Carson he could still throw the long ball.

    In a league where your QB can determine your success and failure, the Raiders finally got their first real QB in years.

    Sorry for the long response haha.

  15. Tony R. says:

    This is a great read, however I do think this deal works only because it’s the Oakland Raiders pulling the trigger on it. Is it logical? Absolutely not by any means that we’d consider logic to play a factor. Could it burn them in the long run? Definitely carries that risk. Which is exactly why the Raiders are the team to do this. In the case of Carson Palmer, I think he is an upgrade over Campbell. His last 3 to 4 years with the Bengals were nowhere close to the quarterback we thought was about to take that next big step at one point. However, those Bengals teams were also dysfunctional. The Raiders are figuring here that they have a very realistic chance to win their division and they are willing to mortgage one year worth of draft picks to do it. They have some young pieces already on the team and Palmer is going to be there for a couple of seasons at least. Hue Jackson wanted him because he knows him and in his mind, that’s going to be his franchise qb for the next 2-4 years. It’s a crazy move, however it makes sense because this is what the Raiders are all about. They don’t do what other teams do. I applaud them for rolling the dice and going for a taste of success now rather than falling back.

  16. brief22 says:

    Oakland is simply magical. Since Al Davis’ death, they are 2-0 and looking good. If Palmer is the answer to Campbell’s injury I don’t know. He is not in football shape or condition and I except to struggle.

    NIce post once again Chris!

  17. Funny.

    If Palmer pulls it off, Hue’ll look like a genius.

    If he tanks, Brown’ll look like a genius.

    All I can say is, I’m glad Josh Freeman is my quarterback.

    I look forward to the quarterback controversy when Palmer finds finally his groove and Campbell is set to come off injured reserve.

  18. tophatal says:


    On the face of it the deal needed to be one for the Raiders’ sake and their season . The caveat here is if Palmer works out or not and that’s by no means a certainty ! There’s a reason why he had his issues with the Bengals front office , coaching staff and some of his former teammates . Wait for that next shoe to drop on this all !

    tophatal ……

  19. thesirwalter says:

    Love the post and can’t wait to see what Carson has in store.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our blog at!

  20. Good post! Carson has a lot to prove, and he must bring back the magic he had before he underwent surgery on his arm. Go Carson! Fight on!

  21. nutz4sports says:

    The Carson Palmer trade was a little to rich for a player of his caliber, still I think that he will put up better numbers then Campbell would. I just wonder what teams will give to have to get a shot at Andrew Luck next year, probably 3 first round picks and first born sun. The Raiders trading and drafting usually never makes any sense to me or anyone else. I still can’t figure out why they parted ways with Nnamdi Asomugha. Only time will tell about the Palmer trade. Nice post.

  22. The Carson Palmer trade is still making me shake my head. I don’t know what the reasoning was behind that trade for the Raiders.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: