Unwilling to take a $3 million pay cut, it appears Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders are at an impasse.
The 33-year-old quarterback, who threw for 4,018 yards last season, is set to make $13 million in 2013, and his refusal to restructure his deal may have set the stage for his departure from Oakland, according to Yahoo! Sports Mike Silver.
Money is reportedly not an issue for Palmer, and he may consider moving to a contender and playing back-up. Since he does not want to reduce his salary, Oakland may cut him, and then possibly trade for Matt Flynn or draft Geno Smith, according to Yahoo!.
The Raiders have the third overall pick in 2012 NFL Draft in April in a draft that lacks star quarterbacks.
In nine seasons, Palmer has a 54-67 record as a starter, with 29,465 yards and 189 touchdowns to 130 interceptions.
Oakland has about $112 million committed to next season’s $123 million salary cap, according to Spotrac.com, which has left them little room to make any splashes in free agency this offseason.
The Raiders also gave up a 2012 first rounder and 2013 second rounder to acquire Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2011. A huge price for a player that may leave after 25 games played.
The Arizona Cardinals were seen as an obvious landing spot for Palmer, but they are far removed from being a contender, and are exploring several options at quarterback. Arizona already signed Drew Stanton, and are “likely” to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds of the draft, according to Silver.
He may desire a switch to the NFC West, but rather to contenders in the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. In both scenarios he would be the primary back-up.
Silver also included the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a team for Palmer to consider. Quarterback Josh Freeman has been inconsistent during his four seasons, and the Buccaneers still have plenty of cap room to absorb Palmer's salary.
Should Palmer leave, the idea of bringing in Flynn could be a solid choice for Oakland. He’s six years younger than Palmer, and would cost far less (at around $5 million per season), leaving GM Reggie McKenzie more salary cap room and time to complete Oakland’s rebuild.
Over the last four seasons, the Raiders have gone 25-39, including 4-12 in Palmer’s first full season as a starter last year. The Raiders have not made the postseason since 2002 when they lost in the Super Bowl.