The Oakland Raiders sent what could turn out to be two first-round draft picks to Cincinnati to acquire quarterback Carson Palmer this past week because their stated goal is to win now. While Palmer only has a few days with the team under his belt, he certainly gives the silver and black a better chance to win now than any other quarterback on the team's roster. So, why isn't he getting a chance to play this week?
Reports are saying that Kyle Boller will start this week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and I don't understand why. Yes, Palmer hasn't been around very long and may not be 100 percent comfortable with the team's offense or personnel. But even without having played in 10 months and after just a few days of practice, he's still better than Boller.
Boller is at best a third-string talent, and while he has always had a big arm, his career completion percentage of 56.7 and lifetime quarterback rating of 70.4 says all you need to know about his ability. He's an inaccurate guy who forces things and often tries to do too much. As evidence of that, one only needs to look at his 48 career touchdowns against 51 interceptions.
At the very least, Palmer could come in and hand the ball off to Darren McFadden and Michael Bush all day on Sunday, occasionally dropping back and hitting a crossing pattern. He has been keeping himself in game shape despite his semi-retirement, and while he probably couldn't be expected to win a game on his own at this point, he would probably hurt the team less than Boller will.
Look, Palmer is a two-time Pro Bowler who was among the best quarterbacks in the NFL a few years back before the Cincinnati Bengals started failing to protect him. Boller has never even sniffed any kind of NFL success. Even if Palmer isn't comfortable with Oakland's scheme and players yet, he'd still offer the team much more than Boller could ever hope to.
The Raiders paid a hefty price to bring Palmer in, and they should play him as much as possible.