The end is near for Carson Palmer. Whether it’s the end of his days as a starting quarterback or his football career altogether he must surely sense it. One thing we know for sure is that in just one and a half seasons Palmer’s career in Oakland is at the crossroads.
Since his arrival in Silver and Black the Raiders have reverted to their form that has dominated much of the past decade. Palmer’s record as a starter in Oakland is just 8-16. Compare that to Jason Campbell who went 11-7 during his short stint as an East Bay starter and there is ample reason why Reggie McKenzie has no desire to honor Palmer’s $13-million pay day next season.
Of course there are plenty of reasons why Palmer hasn’t had the success that was expected. He had to get off his couch and learn an offense on the fly in 2011 then he was placed in Greg Knapp purgatory in 2012. Still, franchise QBs are supposed to win against all odds and in the clutch Palmer was shakier than John Daly the morning after a bachelor party.
Already McKenzie and Dennis Allen have said the QB competition will be opened to include Terrelle Pryor when camp begins this summer. That pretty much says the Raiders could have lost just as many games or perhaps won more with an inexperienced signal caller running the show. It also says Palmer has but two choices for his immediate future.
As we’ve debated for the last week here on JBB, it’s either take a pay cut or take a hike for CP3.
Making matters worse is that there is already precedent for a veteran QB taking a significant salary slash just to remain the incumbent starter for his respective franchise. Mike Vick’s new one-year, $7-million deal has put Palmer on the hot seat.
Originally Vick was slated to make $15-million for the upcoming campaign. But another disappointing season for the Eagles led by a dismal performance from Vick left him with no other choice.
If Palmer looks in the mirror this morning chances are he’ll see Vick winking back at him.
The equation is simple. If Palmer doesn’t take a pay cut he’ll be cut loose. That means it will be nothing but other NFL bottom feeders who will come calling as his only hope of perhaps starting again. If he links up with a contender it will only be in a backup role. Either way nobody is going to come anywhere near the eight figure number he was expecting.
So reducing his salary by 50% while still getting the chance to start has got to be much more appealing to Palmer if he’s to follow the Vick model. If not then it will be thanks for the memories as McKenzie will surely sever ties.
Let’s just be honest about this. Ignore the stats and looks only at the bottom line. The Palmer trade was a failure and the price paid was as ridiculous as it seemed at the time. The time has come to move on and perhaps if he again plays the retirement card it might be what’s best for all parties.