The Oakland Raiders QB saga continues to grow by the minute. It was only a handful of days ago that the prevailing thought was that Carson Palmer was going to restructure his contract. Since then, its been reported he will not take a cut followed by news of the Raiders showing interest in Matt Flynn and attending Matt Barkley's pro day. The most recent news to break are reports that Palmer would prefer to leave Oakland, even if that means taking a pay cut.
According to Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports, the source who told him of Palmer's stance cited age as a major factor. Palmer not getting any younger and has not had much experience playing for winning teams in the NFL. Like many players who are within sight of their retirement, money has become less important than winning for Palmer.
That I can understand, but there is another tid bit from the story that just does not make sense. According to the story, Palmer would even be willing to take a pay cut AND play as a back up on a good team rather than playing another season for the Raiders.
It is the second part that makes me say just cut him. Palmer may be heading towards the end of his career, but he still has enough talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. If Palmer would give up the chance to play just at the potential of being a back up on a team that might make a playoff run, his heart is simply not in the game.
When the Raiders traded for Palmer, there were a lot of questions about whether or not he even wanted to play football anymore. He retired from the Cincinnati Bengals due to disagreements with the ownership and when the Raiders picked him up, it was clear that he had not been keeping himself in shape in case he had just such an opportunity.
It never appeared as though money was a dominating factor in Palmer's decision making. The problem is, with guys like Chad Ochocinco around him, Palmer was able to mostly fly under the radar with the Bengals. When he retired, however, some began wondering if he wasn't a malcontent himself. The story by Silver only serves to reinforce the idea of Palmer as a malcontent. You have to wonder if he would really be ok playing as a backup or if this is just a dramatization aimed at securing a release so he can sign somewhere else.
Either way, you don't want a starting QB who is ok with playing backup and you don't want a starting QB who does not want to play for you. That means the short lived relationship between the Raiders and Palmer is all but over, it just remains to be seen when and how it is officially terminated.