But this is 2011, and, for the first time in nearly a decade, the Raiders have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC West, which makes a potential move for Carson Palmer not only reasonable, but highly encouraged.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Raiders have been "trying hard" to coax the Cincinnati Bengals into trading their semi-retired quarterback since Campbell went down with a broken collarbone during Oakland's 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Palmer would represent a huge upgrade at quarterback for Oakland, even if Campbell were still healthy enough to play. Granted, Palmer's performance had declined since he injured his knee in 2008 and there are still some lingering questions about the health of his elbow, but he's still a veteran quarterback who's capable of throwing for 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in any given season.
Palmer and Raiders head coach Hue Jackson also have something of a pre-existing rapport, as Jackson was the wide receivers coach with the Bengals from 2004 to 2006, Palmer's first three years as the starter in Cincy.
Will the Raiders snag Carson Palmer from the Bengals?
With Campbell gone, Palmer becomes even more of a clear-cut upgrade over what the Silver and Black have to offer. Kyle Boller held the fort admirably after Campbell sustained his injury, completing eight of 14 pass attempts for 100 yards. However, his track record leaves much to be desired, with a career completion percentage of just 56.7 percent and more interceptions (51) than touchdowns (48) to his credit.
Should Boller falter, Terrelle Pryor would be forced into action. Mind you, Pryor has hardly practiced with the team, much less taken a single snap in his NFL career, after serving a five-game suspension for skipping out on NCAA sanctions at Ohio State.
In short, the Raiders need a quarterback of Carson Palmer's experience and ability to win football games to stay in the chase for their first playoff berth since 2002.
As it stands, the odds are stacked against the Silver and Black getting a deal done. Bengals owner Mike Brown has stubbornly hung onto Palmer for months now, refusing to trade away his former franchise star after being asked for an out. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they have neither the time nor the resources to change Brown's mind. The NFL's trading deadline is coming up this Tuesday, and the Raiders are short on picks in the 2012 NFL Draft to give up, especially after using a third-rounder to snag Pryor.
If there were ever a time that the Raiders could use a spark of ingenuity, inspiration and determination from the ghost of late owner Al Davis to save their season, it's now.