Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
With Carson Palmer stating that he has not had any contact with the Raiders about his contract one has to wonder what is going on with the Raiders. His cap hit is just too high for them not to want to do something with it so what is going on?
I am beginning to wonder if the Raiders are thinking about trying to trade him some time this off-season, possibly as a draft day trade. It seems like the most logical explanation. If that is the plan then it makes sense that they have not contacted him about restructuring because the team they trade him to would be able to rework his contract in whatever way they would want it done.
If that is the case then the speculation about Geno Smith to the Raiders could be far more than just a smokescreen and it could actually be what they plan on doing. If the Cardinals are not sold on Geno Smith they could easily be interested in acquiring a veteran signal caller for the next couple years and Carson's deep ball would match Larry Fitzgerald's jump ball ability very nicely.
There must be a plan for why the Raiders have not contacted Carson yet about his contract. That plan is probably not going to be rolling with Terrelle Pryor as the no doubt starter at QB, and its hard to imagine the Raiders being ok with the massive cap hit that Palmer's contract currently stands at. The answer could be they plan on trading him for whatever they can get.
Maybe they think Palmer will be more than happy to accommodate the Raiders salary cap needs with another restructuring of his contract. If its just another restructuring that does not come with a pay cut then it wouldn't be the long term solution that Oakland needs but it could possibly be done fairly quickly.
It just seems so unlikely that Reggie McKenzie, the severer of "out of whack" contracts, would be ok with not finding the long term solution right now. Reggie is more calculating than that and it just does not make sense for him to not be more proactive in making a decision here that fixes things in the long run. A restructuring only fixes short term and leaves the long term in limbo.
With that in mind if they expect Palmer to willfully and happily take a pay cut and for that process to be quick and painless they would be in for a rude awakening. Carson was ready to quit football altogether but that doesn't mean he is suddenly ready to announce to the world that he isn't worthy of what he has been getting paid. He might be a good guy but he is not going to be that good of a guy.
If the Raiders are really going to ignorantly believe that they could get that done quickly enough without even having contacted Palmer by now then they have another thing coming. Since I do not believe that McKenzie would be that naive then I believe it leaves only 2 options. Trading Palmer this off-season, or being ok with the massive cap hit that will be coming through shortly.
It all comes down to how the coaching staff and the GM feel about Geno Smith. If they believe he has what it takes to be a franchise QB and believe that he is the best player available at their pick then they will draft him. Terrelle Pryor will be competing for the starting job next year (although he will have to prove an awful lot before being named the starter) the question is who that competition will be against.