The NFL free agency has given us nothing short of excitement. Big moves have been made by several franchises, especially the Oakland Raiders.
Some of the critical moments for the Raiders over the past few days include the team announcing the release of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and cornerback Michael Huff, and linebacker Philip Wheeler signing a 5-year, $26 million deal with the Dolphins.
With that said, the Oakland Raiders are surely not done making moves.
One of the biggest questions this offseason has been what the Raiders will do with quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer, who just finished his first full season with the Raiders, finished his 2012-2013 campaign with 4,018 passing yards and 22 touchdowns.Those stats sound pretty good when you add in the fact that he was dealing with a handicapped offense for much of the season, as star running back Darren McFadden and wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore all missed a significant amount of time during the season due to lingering injuries.
But at the end of the day, Carson Palmer is a 33-year-old quarterback who has always been dangling between a mediocre and above-average status. With Oakland boasting one of the youngest squads in the NFL, I think it is time for the Raiders to cut Carson Palmer and move along.
Palmer is due over $13 million next season, and with Oakland making so many adjustments to free themselves from the salary cap, it just does not seem likely for them to retain him. Not only that, he does not seem deserving.
If Palmer would take a significant pay cut and stick with the team, then I think it would be good for the Raiders. But it was reported earlier that Palmer is resistant to take a pay cut and that he is probably on his way out of Oakland.
To set things straight, I believe that Terrelle Pryor should be the starting quarterback for this young Raiders team. They lack talent up front, so doesn’t a mobile quarterback just sound more logical? And I can guarantee that Raiders fans are just about fed up with Palmer waiting too long in the pocket to make a play and then getting swallowed up by an opposing defender.
Pryor, the 23-year-old product of Ohio State, brings to the Raiders something that they haven’t had in a while. Mobility and versatility at the quarterback position.
With young guys like Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson all coming into the league and making a name for themselves by evading defenders and buying extra time, Pryor should have all the motivation in the world. Those four players are modern-day proof that quarterbacks who can make plays by using their legs are finally having their time to shine.
In his three years at Ohio State, Pryor racked up 2,164 yards and 17 touchdowns all on the ground. His passing game was also very efficient, as he threw for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns.
My point is, Pryor has the skill set to become one of the NFL’s most prolific players. He has often been overlooked in his professional career, as he entered the league via the supplemental draft, and has never really received the right opportunity to work with a solid offensive scheme.
After a disastrous year with Greg Knapp as the team’s offensive coordinator, Oakland finally pulled the plug and hired Greg Olson, who is in his 27th season in the coaching profession.
Pryor will be able to start completely fresh with a new offensive coordinator, a young and healthy group of teammates, and the Raiders will finally be able to move on and turn to a whole new chapter of their franchise.
With Palmer not willing to take a pay cut, why would the Raiders want to pay a sluggish 33-year old a whopping $13 million for the following season?
Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey were released a few days ago, and it will be hard to say goodbye to them (especially Huff). But all things must come to an end, and Palmer’s time in Oakland should be ending soon.