Carson Palmer refused to take a pay cut to $10 million from his $13 million base salary in 2013, putting his future as an Oakland Raider in doubt. According to Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports, Palmer’s mindset is that Oakland’s prospects are bleak and money is not the predominant factor.
One of the sources close to Palmer said the quarterback’s refusal to accept the $10 million salary is not a leverage play. “It’s not like he’s trying to get another few hundred thousand [dollars] out of the Raiders,” the source said. “That’s not what this is about.”
Just two years ago, Carson Palmer threatened to retire in a disagreement with the Cincinnati Bengals and owner Mike Brown, questioning the organization. After the trade to Oakland, Cincinnati has made two consecutive playoff appearances. Palmer, meanwhile, had an uneven season in Oakland last year. He and the Raiders often got off to slow starts, and then he added over 4,000 passing yards playing from behind. His overall numbers weren’t horrible, and belied the frequent poor results when the game was in the balance.
A look at Carson Palmer’s most similar players at the same age show some other guys that moved on to other teams: Bobby Hebert with Atlanta in 1993, Steve McNair with Baltimore in 2006, Drew Bledsoe with the 2005 Cowboys, Kerry Collins with the Raiders, and Boomer Esiason with the 1994 Jets.
If Palmer wants to get out of Oakland and start somewhere else, he will likely have to follow the Boomer Esiason path and head to Arizona for his third gig. He is at an age, though, when many quarterbacks of the non-Hall of Fame variety moved into back up roles. Apparently, he is willing to pass on $10 million and a starting job in Oakland to go the path of someone like Kerry Collins, who emerged as a starter a few years later with a playoff contender in Tennessee. Palmer’s best stylistic choice for that may be to go to somewhere like Denver or New York with the Giants and back up one of the Mannings and provide some insurance.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]