Carson Palmer: Oakland Raiders Should Terminate Contract Rather Than Restructure

Michael DulkaContributor IFebruary 26, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 16, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders, according to an ESPN report, are trying to restructure the contract of quarterback Carson Palmer for next season. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted out the Raiders' plans:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Raiders will try to restructure QB Carson Palmer's contract, scheduled to pay him $13 million this season. Palmer could take Vick-like hit.

The Raiders are making a mistake by keeping Palmer, even with a restructured contract.

Based on Palmer's current deal, he's set to make $13 million for the 2013 season. That's entirely too much for an at-best average quarterback. The smartest move for the Raiders is to release Palmer and go in a different direction. 

Palmer didn't play well in 2012, despite having decent numbers. Much of his positive stats were accumulated in garbage time as the Raiders got blown out. Palmer completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a final quarterback rating of 85.3. 

Palmer just doesn't have much to offer the Raiders at this point in his career. The Raiders are multiple years away from competing a high level. By the time GM Reggie McKenzie is able to undo the damage done under the previous regime, the 33-year-old Palmer will definitely be in the final years of his career.

Committing obscene amounts of money to Palmer is a perfect example of the moves the Raiders are trying to undo. They need to build a culture of smart spending. Cutting ties with Palmer would send the right message to the franchise.  

The Raiders are much better focusing their attention on bringing in a young quarterback to compete with Terrelle Pryor. With the third pick in the draft, the Raiders should have a fairly decent shot at landing Geno Smith. Another, albeit less likely, option is trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith or Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn. 

The cap space saved by cutting Palmer would allow the Raiders to fill other holes and/or bring in a new quarterback. With so many areas of needs, it's not financially sound to have that much money committed to a player that doesn't offer much in terms of the team's future. 

With a strong class of quarterbacks in the 2014 draft, the Raiders would be better off struggling through 2013 with younger, inexperienced passers. Seeing what Pryor or a rookie could do would give the Raiders a much better snapshot of where the team is headed in the next five years. 


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