Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NFL News

Carson Palmer is back, Donovan McNabb is out, and the Lions wasted no time bringing in running back help following Jahvid Best's concussion this weekend on a busy Tuesday in the NFL.
Photo Credit: latimes.com
The NFL trade deadline typically isn't a big one for deals just because it's so early in the season and the inherently large rosters lead to teams having a lot of built-in depth. Today, it would appear, was an exception. The Oakland Raiders, who just lost their starting quarterback Jason Campbell to a broken collar bone, made perhaps the most surprising move of the day when they acquired Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer, who had been holding out hopeful of getting traded, now gets his wish and returns to California where he grew up with a chance to take the Raiders to the postseason for the first time since the 2002 season. The Raiders went to the Super Bowl that year with NFL MVP Rich Gannon as their quarterback. Palmer comes at a steep price though as he'll cost the Raiders their 2012 first round pick and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2013. AND the 2013 pick can become a first rounder if Oakland wins a playoff game this year. This leaves the Raiders with no picks in the first four rounds of next year's draft, but it keeps them from trusting the fate of their season in the hands of Kyle Boller (below) and Terrelle Prior. The move doesn't come without significant risk though. Palmer has not taken a snap this year so there's no telling how long it'll take him to get ready to play or what he'll be able to do once he steps onto the field.
Photo Credit: silverandblackpride.com

The Raiders weren't the only team that had needs to fill today though. The 5-1 Lions acquired Ronnie Brown from the Philadelphia Eagles for running back Jerome Harrison and an undisclosed draft pick in 2013 as they prepare to potentially be without the services of Jahvid Best (concussion). Harrison had appeared in four games for the Lions this season amassing just 41 yards on 14 carries and catching 1 pass for 3 yards. It's not like Brown was lighting it up though. Despite running for over 4800 yards in his 6 seasons with Miami, Brown's 2011 numbers are about the same as Harrison's: 13 carries, 38 yards, 0 receptions. Brown also had an awful fumble in the red zone against San Francisco (see the picture below - not a pass play) that helped contribute to the Eagles abysmal start. The trade is now an opportunity for both backs to start fresh. Ironically, this is the second year in a row that Harrison has been traded to the Eagles. Last year, Philadelphia acquired him from Cleveland. Kind of makes you wonder. If they liked him enough to trade for him TWICE, how come they didn't just resign him? Anyhow, it remains to be seen if Brown or Maurice Morris will get the bulk of the work if Best needs to miss any time which at this point seems likely.
Photo Credit: bleedinggreennation.com

Finally, in a non-trade today the Minnesota Vikings announced that Christian Ponder, the 12th overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, will make his first start this coming Sunday. The Florida State alum is literally getting thrown right into the fire though as the Vikings take on unbeaten Green Bay this week. However, it's not like he can do much worse than what Donovan McNabb was doing. The 34 year old veteran ranked 29th in passing touchdowns and 26th in passing yards while leading the Vikings to a 1-5 start. Ponder debuted last week against the Bears and was 9 for 17 for 99 yards.
Photo Credit: twincities.com

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