Between Ted Thompson and the ghost of Al Davis…the truth lies.
The Oakland Raiders have traded their 2012 first round pick AND their 2013 second round pick (which could become their 2013 first rounder, conditionally) to the Cincinnati Bengals for QB Carson Palmer.
The Oakland Raiders, even in the post Al Davis era, have little to no interest in truly improving their team. They have traded away their 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 7th round picks in 2012 to various teams proving once again that the policy book states “We’d rather have veterans, washed up or not, than rookies who are athletic and speedy with raw talent.” The policy book should really say “Shoot first, ask questions later…”
Why have the Raiders been awful since their last Super Bowl appearance during the 2002 season? They don’t build from the ground up. They slap adobe mud on a crumbling house and pray that it stays together. Why doesn’t this model work? You needn’t look very far in our current day NFL to understand this.
Ted Thompson, the general manager of the reigning Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, has always tried to stockpile draft picks. In the early years, some wondered what the hell he was doing. Slowly it became clear. Letting veterans go, while sometimes not popular, is essential to be able to keep the bricks of a foundation young and strong so it will support that dwelling and not crumble like a mud shithouse. It’s worked. The Packers have another Lombardi trophy in their case, and they are 6-0 to start the 2011 season. Lest we forget, the same season that was being threatened not long ago by a lockout.
And then there’s the Philadelphia Eagles. A team of free agents slapped together just as swiftly as New Coke was taken off the market. The “Dream Team”. Who’s dream? Vince Young’s dream? HA! Right. The Eagles are 2-4 not because they necessarily won the game against the Washington Redskins, but ONLY because Rex Grossman decided to lose the game for Washington by methodically tossing four (4), yes 4, INT’s. You’re welcome, Vince. Enough said.
Granted, the Raiders are 4-2 in their crappy division that features two teams that can’t get out of their own way (Broncos, Chiefs) and a “leader” who has not impressed in the least (Chargers). The Silver & Black better pray to Al himself, who is probably sitting next to St. Peter at the moment contemplating his next move, that Carson Palmer still can put his legs under him and shake off the rust, or a promising season will go down in flames quickly. As for the draft picks? “Just Trade Baby” & “Commitment to Exchanges” ought to work just fine. As a new slogan anyway.