carson-palmer-waiver2

The speed of the NFL’s offseason never stops being overwhelming. Every year I know it’s coming, yet every year while we’re trying to wistfully reflect on another Super Bowl gone by, players are getting cut only 48 hours removed from the game, cap space is being clear, and the necessary gears are chugging towards the opening of free agency on March 12.

This is how awful clich├ęs are born. Say, is there an offseason? No, of course there isn’t an offseason.

Yesterday several notable names were cut including Kyle Vanden Bosch and Michael Boley, and Titus Young has already found a new place to be a complete moron (don’t worry, Jeff Fisher has guns). Meanwhile, a decision regarding Chris Johnson’s contract has reportedly been made, although it isn’t finalized yet.

But lo, the cuts will keep coming, rapid fire styles. Just like in the olden times when the weakest men in he tribe we released deep int the jungle to fend for themselves, the cuts this week will mostly be of the aged and decaying variety. And with that, I give you Carson Palmer.

Yesterday CBS’ Jason La Canfora ran through a list of possible cuts at each position over the next month or so as teams attempt to trim the extra butter from their diet during the preparation for free agency. Among the quarterbacks, many of the names aren’t surprising (Alex Smith, Michael Vick, and Matt Cassel). Palmer is on this prestigious list too, and I suppose his release would also be something less than shocking given his somewhat advancing age (33) on an otherwise young offense. Combine that with the girth of zeroes on his paycheck next year (he’s due $13 million), and there’s your cause for unemployment.

But if he is jettisoned, there’s a very real chance that the Raiders would enter their offseason training program and then main training camp with Terrelle Pryor as their starting quarterback. Yes, the Terrelle Pryor, he of the one career start in which he was sort of OK, completing 13 of his 28 pass attempts for 150 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown. There’s hope in that young Jedi, but Pryor will need to be groomed and developed, and a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002 isn’t exactly keen on the waiting game.

Palmer was quietly a solid anchor for a team that lost six straight games at one point this past season, and it’s difficult to find something to hate on in his overall 2012 numbers (completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 14 picks). The problem is that paycheck for a team that’s pinned against the cap, and needs to upgrade elsewhere on the other side of the ball.

That’s why Palmer will be asked to take a pay cut, and it’s why he has a bit of the leverage in this situation. With Pryor still very much unproven and a handful of other quarterback-needy teams ready for his services (Palmer would be a fine short-term solution for the Jets or Cardinals), the Raiders need Palmer more than he needs them.

For general manager Reggie McKenize then, this becomes either a matter of finances with Palmer, or faith with Pryor.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • Rob Ryan is set to take his awful history as a defensive coordinator to New Orleans. Hooray? [Adam Schefter]
  • Haloti Ngata will have an MRI on his knee tomorrow. Ugh? [Albert Breer]
  • The Giants will likely retain Andre Brown. [ESPN New York]
  • Also filed under “likely”, expect Ben Watson to be an ex-Brown soon. Make friends with Jordan Cameron, fantasy footballers. [ESPN Cleveland]

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