The days of Carson Palmer as an Oakland Raiders seem to be dwindling down.
Palmer, who is due over $13 million this season, is unwilling to take a pay cut for a third straight year. The Raiders, who are in extensive trade talks with the Seahawks to acquire quarterback Matt Flynn, should have no intention of paying Palmer his base salary. Whether it’s Terrelle Pryor or Matt Flynn taking over the reigns of Oakland’s offense, it definitely should not be Palmer.
So with Palmer just about done in Oakland, where will he land next?
Well, earlier reports claimed that the Raiders and Cardinals were in trade talks for the 33-year-old quarterback. Arizona, who recently cut the strings with quarterback Kevin Kolb, might be a good fit for Palmer.
Palmer, who just completed 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 if Palmer is dealt to Arizona, what would he be able to do there that he couldn’t accomplish in Oakland?
The Cardinals are coming off a horrible 5-11 season, and I just don’t believe that Palmer will be able to fix the struggling squad. He would step right into a brand new team and game plan with newly-hired head coach Bruce Arians, and I just don’t trust that Palmer wants to do that. He seems to want everything to go his way at this stage of his career, but he needs to realize that it just won’t play out like that.
Aside from jumping into yet another new offensive scheme, are Arizona’s wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd that big of an upgrade from the Raiders’ receivers that Palmer played with? Sure, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore weren’t the best, but I don’t believe for one second that they were the reasons that Palmer failed in Oakland.
Fitzgerald and Floyd are two gifted athletes and wide receivers, but an aging quarterback who takes too much time in the pocket is just not the answer.
So if Palmer does not end up in Arizona, where else could he go?
Palmer has made it clear that he would rather serve as a backup on a contender than the starter on a struggling team, and the 49ers would be the perfect team for those standards.
The 49ers, who have their obvious starting quarterback in Colin Kaepernick, might be a good fit for Palmer. The 49ers already traded away backup quarterback Alex Smith this offseason, who seemed to have opposite requests than those of Palmer. Smith was done with playing behind Kaepernick and wanted to command an offense of his own.
Would Palmer be a good backup to Kaepernick in San Francisco?
I really doubt it. At this point in Palmer’s career, I would only want him on my team if he was available to sign for very cheap. Clearly, Palmer wants his money, but maybe a scenario shift would change his mind.
Kaepernick plays very explosively on the field, especially by making plays with his legs. Unforuntately, those often lead to hard hits by opposing defenses (just take a look at Michael Vick). That said, Kaepernick might get knocked out of a game or two and the 49ers will need to turn to a reliable backup quarterback to finish the job until he recovers. Could they count on Palmer? I don’t think so.
Rumors speculate so much, and we are never sure what will actually go down. So where will Carson Palmer end up?
Arizona? San Francisco? Somewhere else? Leave a comment, answer the poll, and let us know your opinion on this whole frenzy.