For months and months, the uncertainty surrounding the quarterback situation in Oakland has swirled, but with the emergence of new reports on Monday afternoon, clarity might be closer than we thought.
On one hand, it was clear from the start that the $13 million Palmer was owed would never be paid. The question, however, was what that meant for Palmer's future.
Would he restructure? Would he be cut?
The answer to that question seemed to be hinted at this afternoon when ESPN's Adam Schefter sent out the following tweet:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Interesting: now "highly unlikely" Carson Palmer will be willing to restructure his contract meaning OAK pays him $13 million or cuts him.2013-3-25 19:55:36
So what does that mean for Oakland?
Has the Terrelle Pryor era finally arrived? Will Geno Smith be the team's pick one month from today? Or is there a chance this report could fail to come to fruition?
The most likely answer here is that Pryor will get his shot this season—a shot that seems a safer bet to make after he played decently in Oakland's final game last season.
While speculation will continue to swirl around Geno Smith in the No. 3 spot, I think Oakland would definitely be better served to trade down for more picks or work to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
All that, however, is pure speculation.
How should we think of the Carson Palmer era in Oakland should it come to an end shortly?
As part of one of the most polarizing trades in recent NFL history, Palmer never had a shot to win the respect of the fanbase in Oakland. When you're traded for as many high-value picks as Palmer was, anything short of an All-Pro performance would have been a disappointment.
In reality, Palmer played well last season, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns despite lacking any threat of a running game.
So while numerous questions still need to be answered, the rebuilding movement in Oakland appears to include the quarterback position. The folks who have been calling for Pryor for months are going to get what they want.
The question is, will they still want it 12 months from now?