According to multiple reports, the Arizona Cardinals are pursuing a trade for Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.
Oakland is believed to be close to finalizing a trade with Seattle for quarterback Matt Flynn, and with Palmer already considered a potential cap casualty because of his $13 million salary for the upcoming season, the Raiders certainly would consider him expendable if/when the deal for Flynn is complete.
Because of that, the Cardinals likely would not be expected to produce much in the way of compensation, perhaps no more than a late-round draft pick or two. According to The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, the team would not be willing to give up much more than that. The bigger stumbling block would be Palmer’s contract, which the Raiders attempted to renegotiate only to be rebuffed by the 33-year-old veteran.
Considering that the Cards cut former starter Kevin Kolb in large part because of his $11 million salary for 2013, Palmer almost certainly would have to agree to a significant pay cut in order for a deal to be reached.
Palmer, the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner at USC and top overall pick in the ’03 draft who spent his first seven seasons with the Bengals, completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year as the Raiders went 4-12.
While Palmer’s preference is believed to be a release that would allow him to choose his next destination, USA Today reported Friday that he has the Cardinals and 49ers, in some order, atop his list of potential new employers. A move to San Francisco also would mean a move into a backup role behind Colin Kaepernick, who is entrenched as the 49ers’ starter after last season’s run to the Super Bowl. The starting job in Arizona, however, is far more available.
Since releasing Kolb, the Cardinals have added only veteran Drew Stanton, a backup with the Colts under new coach Bruce Arians last year who hasn’t thrown a pass in the past two seasons and has just five touchdown passes and nine interceptions in his six-year career. Arians has all but named Stanton the starter going into voluntary workouts but has left open the possibility that the Cardinals could acquire another quarterback, either through trade, free agency or the draft.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported the Cardinals’ interest in a trade for Palmer, tweeting Friday night that they were “nearing a deal.” It is unclear if the team has had any contact with the quarterback or his agent.