When former Raiders linebacker Matt Millen was recalling team owner Al Davis last week, he said Davis was never afraid of “making a bold move.”
Now, though Davis is gone, we’ll see if the Raiders still believe in bold moves.
With quarterback Jason Campbell out with a broken collarbone, probably for the rest of the season, the 4-2 Raiders are pondering their options.
Hand the job to backup Kyle Boller, who looked rusty in Sunday’s victory over the Cleveland Browns? Or go outside the organization to get the best available quarterback to plug into the system and try to keep things moving toward the goal of winning the AFC West?
Shortly after Sunday’s victory, there already was speculation that the Raiders would try to sign former Jacksonville starter David Garrard, who had been cut just before the season.
By Monday morning, more names were added to the mix.
CBS Sports reported the Raiders were in discussions with the Bengals to trade for Carson Palmer, who is holding out this season. ESPN reported free agent Josh McCown had been contacted by the Raiders. And the Denver Post reported the Broncos would be willing to trade Kyle Orton – who just recently lost his job to Tim Tebow – for a draft choice.
It’s clear that head coach Hue Jackson, who’s in charge of personnel decisions for the time being in Davis’ absence, likes to make bold moves. Last week, he picked up former first-round linebacker Aaron Curry from Seattle.
And, in the aftermath of Sunday’s loss of Campbell, Jackson told ESPN: “I’m not going to let this football team blink.”
“We’ll miss Jason for a little while,” he said. “I have no idea how long it will take. … We’ll continue to press forward and get better.”
At this point, getting better – keeping the momentum of this season going – may involve bringing in a new QB to eventually take over for Boller, who would then slide back to his No. 2 spot. And, that would ensure that long-term project Terrelle Pryor isn’t thrown into the fire.
The big prize would be Palmer, of course. Yahoo.com’s Jason Cole reported Monday that Oakland was trying to work out a deal with Bengals owner Mike Brown. But, Cole reports, that may be difficult. Brown may just force Palmer to sit out the entire year in his “retirement.”
To go after Palmer or Garrard or Orton, however, would be the bold move Davis likely would have tried.
With the NFL trading deadline at 1 p.m. Tuesday (Pacific time), the clock is ticking.
As Cole wrote Monday of the potential for a Palmer trade:
“Jackson privately told people close to him that he would be interested in Palmer once Brown was willing to deal.
“Well, the Raiders need to find out now, and they need to find out in a hurry.”