The move by the Oakland Raiders to acquire Carson Palmer looks like a smart move on paper.
Head coach Hue Jackson didn't want the Raiders to rest their playoff hopes on a career backup like Kyle Boller or an unprepared rookie in Terrelle Pryor, which is understandable.
What makes the trade such a bad move is what they gave up to acquire Palmer, sending the Cincinnati Bengals their 2012 first-round pick and a conditional 2013 first- or second-round pick. (The conditional pick becomes a first-rounder only if the Raiders win a playoff game.)
Before the news broke of the trade, most believed that even a second-round pick for Palmer was too much since he wasn't even willing to play for his current team.
Good teams are built through the draft, especially with the new rookie salary cap making high draft selections cheap, young, and very valuable. Guess how many draft picks the Raiders will have in the 2012 NFL Draft's first four rounds? NONE. The Raiders have mortgaged their future for only a slightly better chance at winning now.
(The Raiders traded their 2012 second-round pick for 2011 third- and fourth-round picks, will give up their 2012 third-round pick for taking Pryor in the supplemental draft, and traded the Redskins their fourth-round pick for the now injured Jason Campbell)
The move to acquire Palmer through 2014 will also make both Campbell and Pryor re-examine their statuses with the team. Campbell was planning on returning from injury before season's end and Pryor was planning to be groomed into the quarterback of the future.
Even if the move is successful in the short term and the Raiders get a win in the playoffs, they still are the losers in the long run since that's as far as it would likely go. Palmer has never been further than the first round of the playoffs.
A more likely scenario for the Oakland Raiders is a 9-7 final record in 2011, falling just short of the playoffs, with three unhappy quarterbacks and sparse young talent coming in for the next several years.