So much for my column today about the trading deadline being a dud:)
As I asked in my previous column about the showdown between Carson Palmer and Mike Brown, "What Can Brown do for Carson?", the answer is reportedly "send him to the Raiders for an unexpected bounty."
I tried to give some insight into Brown in the article: how he is stubborn and obstinate, mocked in league circles and seen as frustrating to deal with and out of touch by players and agents. I also felt that Palmer and agent David Dunn were unfortunately on the wrong side of the leverage equation in this staredown: Brown would make Palmer sit rather than allow he and Dunn to force a trade through a sham retirement.
What I nor anyone else did not expect -- including Palmer and Dunn -- was that another team would offer a stunning package to secure Palmer in a trade. With the offer reported to be a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick that could become a first, Brown had played the Palmer situation to maximum advantage; it was time to make a deal.
In sum, Brown did the following: accepted Palmer's retirement, placed him on a reserve list where he sat unpaid, drafted a replacement that looks to be a promising player for the future, maintained Cap room should Palmer have requested reinstatement, waited for a desperate team in dire need of an experienced quarterback and leveraged a dramatic package for Palmer, a player that was never going to add any more to the Bengals anyway.
The Raiders will pay Palmer $7.44 million for the rest of 2011 -- which he will restructure for Cap purposes, not cash -- and $11.5 million for 2012. The Bengals are paying Dalton a little over $5 million for the next four years and will pay next year's pick from the Raiders around $8 million for four years. Thus, the Raiders will pay Palmer almost $19 million for a year and a half; the Bengals will pay Dalton and the first-round pick Palmer nets (not even mentioning the 2013 pick) about $13 million for eight years of service!
With the lessened financial obligation of the new CBA, first-round picks -- as well as second-round picks -- are gold. They give a team great value for the money now associated with them. The Bengals will reap the benefits of the that. As to the Raiders, they are becoming the Redskins of a decade ago; draft picks are fungible. the future is now.
What can Brown do for Carson? Leverage a trade that will benefit the Bengals for years to come.
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