The Oakland Raiders gave up one first round pick and a second conditional first round pick (that will be a second round pick at worst) in order to get Carson Palmer once former starting quarterback Jason Campbell went down with a broken collar bone.
That kind of value indicates a franchise type player who can be the leader of your team for a number of years. It indicates an elite status, that he is one of the best players at his position. While Palmer has played well and has certainly been an upgrade over Jason Campbell, he has yet to live up to the billing of what the Raiders gave up to get him.
Sunday, Palmer will have a golden opportunity to prove that he is one of the game's elite quarterbacks when he goes head to head with unquestionably the NFL's best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
There is no question that Rodgers and the Packers are going to put up points, and likely a good number of them. The fewest points the Packers put up in a game was 24 against the St. Louis Rams, and that was primarily because they did not need to score anymore points. Given that fact, added to the fact that Darren McFadden will likely be out another week, or at best, only a partial participant in Sunday's game, if the Raiders are going to win, it will be due to a huge day by Palmer.
However, the Raiders do not even necessarily have to win in order for Palmer to prove his worth. If Palmer puts together an outstanding performance and the Raiders lose a close game to the undefeated, defending Super Bowl Champions, in Green Bay, in December, it would be hard to do anything but be impressed.
At times this season, Palmer has looked like the quarterback who was once considered to be one of the best in the league. Unfortunately for the Raiders, he has been unable to capture that magic consistently. With the Raiders looking far from a certainty to make the playoffs, Palmer has the opportunity to silence those who claim he was not worth the trade with one great performance.
While the value of the second draft pick given up for Palmer may not be decided for a while, the time for Palmer to prove his worth is now.