The reason Carson Palmer is a member of the Oakland Raiders at this time is because he was fed up with losing in Cincinnati so he held out. It wasn't about getting a big new contract. He was a number one draft pick. He had his share of paydays with the Bengals and had he stayed a Bengal he would have continued to be paid very well. He held out because he did not like the franchise ownership and the way they went about building a team. It's not a new story. The Bengals organization has that type of reputation.
Palmer was looking to play for a contender. He came to Oakland because Hue Jackson recruited him to replace the injured Jason Campbell. Hue broke the bank to make Palmer a Raider. Overall on the field, Hue did ok as a head coach and Palmer did pretty well at QB. Together as a unit, this may have been a solid long term solutions for the Raiders.
The death of Al Davis changed that course of events from ever happening.
New Raiders owner Mark Davis has had ample time to reflect on the chain of events. By his own admission, Mark was not the football mind the franchise needed. He relied on old timers John Madden and Ron Wolf to guide his decision what to do next after Al passed away. Reggie McKenzie was hired as GM. Over a year later, Mark Davis realizes he needs more direct help than just a GM. His next maneuver will be the hiring of an executive to oversee football operations. A year too late but better late than never.
McKenzie, though a capable GM, ousted Hue and then proceeded to make the wrong head coaching hire in Dennis Allen who in turn has made questionable assistant coaching hires. This entire combination has not been effective to get the most out of Carson Palmer, star running back Darren McFadden, the receiving game or even the defense which has suffered even more than it typically has in years past.
Oh but there's a bright spot. Penalties are down. Don't everyone applaud at once.
The big picture now is the Raiders want to be as competitive as possible obviously and they don't have a more capable QB than Palmer on the roster. However, Palmer is neither medically sound nor was his 2012 play indicative of what a winning team needs. He tallies big stats but the team still loses and it's not all because of a soft defense. Palmer knows it and has owned up to it. Logic dictates they unload him and his massive salary.
Palmer must have changed his tune by now as far as career aspirations. He knows the Raiders won't win a Super Bowl in his time with the team. He's in a much worse situation than he ever was at Cincy. It's all about the money for him now. He is hoping his body will at least last him a few games so he can claim his 13 million in 2013. That's what it's all about for him.
Making Palmer's ambition seem likely to come to fruition is Terrelle Pryor may not yet ready to be a big time NFL QB. Maybe he is not the mobile QB prodigy that other teams have in the form of RGIII, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson or even an injury addled Michael Vick Still, Pryor deserves a chance to develop as the starter. That's why Al drafted him. The logic continues to dictate he gets the playing time but if he does it's going to come at a risk even if he lights it up and outright wins the job in preseason.
It's damned if they do, damned if they don't. Palmer or Pryor may bring the same results. It is conceivable that both start games in 2013.
Despite the problems outside his control, I see Dennis Allen as a lame duck. He won't last another season if the teams ends up 4-11 or 5-12. Well, he shouldn't last but he is under contract for another 3 years. It will be up to Mark Davis or his executive in charge of football operations to make that call if/when.
It's not all Allen's fault. His predecessor, Hue, made a disastrous trade decision, using that booming voice to convince Mark Davis they needed to make the Palmer deal with Cincy. Now we are all regretting carrying Palmer's dead financial weight, his questionably effective play and battered body, not to mention the lost draft picks. What do we have from Carson Palmer other than stats? = zero. Maybe inching along development of a few receivers at best.
Barring an unexpected division championship and playoff run, Mark Davis or the football executive he hires will have to make a call on cleaning house (again) in 2014. The big question is what will McKenzie do right now to salvage the 2013 season? If Palmer refuses to restructure then how much further damage would there be if they cut him and went with Terrelle Pryor or a free agent or a draft pick? Probably not much. We are still looking at a 4 or 5 win season. Mayyyyybe 6 wins but doubtful.
Either direction is (still) rebuilding. It's just a matter of choosing personnel and players wisely.