Carson Palmer vs Terrelle Pryor: Which QB Makes More Sense for Raiders' Offense?

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IOctober 16, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #6 of the Oakland Raiders prepares to snap the football during the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders have nothing to lose in 2012.

Carson Palmer isn't the reason for the team's woes, but with a record of 1-4 it makes perfect sense to give Terrelle Pryor a shot to see what he's got before the 2013 NFL draft. 

General Manager Reggie McKenzie has this team in a full-on rebuilding mode. Before the season began, Raiders fans were optimistic about their team's chances, but the sad truth is that there wasn't enough talent on the roster to field a winning team. 

Now that we're approximately one-third through the season, the proof is in the pudding. 

Before you go blasting me about giving Pryor a chance over Palmer, let me make one thing clear: Palmer has been better than good. In fact, he's been better than I thought was possible when the Raiders traded for him last year. 

So why am I advocating a change? 

Palmer Isn't the Quarterback of the Future, but Pryor Might Be

Palmer is 32 years old, and his best days are far behind him. 

Furthermore, he's a pure volume passer whose arm strength doesn't allow the Raiders to stretch the field as much as if a young gun like Pryor were behind center. 

With Palmer, this team is competitive, but it's not winning. 

Pryor isn't going to somehow turn the Raiders into a winning football team, but I don't believe Raiders will win more than four games this season, regardless of which quarterback is behind center. 

The Raiders need to determine whether or not Pryor has the talent, leadership and football IQ to be the quarterback of the future. If he's not, then McKenzie needs to seriously consider taking a quarterback next April. 

It's not like he hasn't shown promise, either. In limited action this preseason, Pryor completed 19-of-32 passes (59.4 percent) for 251 yards (7.8 yards per attempt) with two touchdowns and one interception (passer rating of 92.1) and ran for another 121 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. 

The only way to determine Pryor's worth is to throw him into the fire. 

What's the worst thing that could happen? The Raiders find out he's not the quarterback of the future and let Palmer continue to be the stop-gap quarterback until they draft his replacement. 

There's always a chance the Raiders catch lightning in a bottle and Pryor turns out to be just as explosive as Cam Newton was for the Carolina Panthers last year. 

The 2012 season is a lost cause, but allowing Pryor to prove or disprove his worth is a worthy investment into the future of this team. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com


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