Carson Palmer, the NFL’s Newest Franchise Quarterback?

Can a quarterback who turns 32 in December and, by his own choice, was not even in a training camp this season, really be anointed as a new franchise quarterback in the National Football League? That quarterback is Carson Palmer, and in the eyes of the Oakland Raiders, he can.

In recent years, I have been among the many who have blamed the Raiders’ ridiculous personnel decisions on the senility of their aging owner, Al Davis. This may have been unfair. Davis passed away on Oct 8 and ten days later,Oakland traded their 2012 first-round draft selection and a conditional second-round selection in the 2013 draft to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for Carson Palmer.

The Raiders have outdone themselves this time. Over the past decade they have made many ill-fated personnel decisions, especially at the quarterback position. In 2007, the Raiders selected arguably the all-time biggest draft bust, JaMarcus Russell, with the first overall pick. The Raiders also made a very questionable move in this year’s supplemental draft, giving up their third-round pick in 2012 to select highly controversial Ohio State quarterback/athlete Terrelle Pryor, who has huge upside, but lacks maturity and may have no true NFL position.

Oakland's move in April to trade a 2012 fourth-round selection in exchange for Jason Campbell was a good one. Campbell had been performing well in the first six weeks of the season, leading the Raiders on an impressive 4-2 start. However, when Al compared Jason Campbell to championship-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett, he clearly inferred that Campbell was expected to be the long-term franchise quarterback.

Of course, the Raiders were thrown into a tough quandary following Sunday’s game. They defeated the Browns but suffered a greater loss: quarterback Jason Campbell suffered a broken collarbone which led to season-ending surgery. That left Oakland as a team in the middle of the...

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