Palmer will have say in contract talks


One of the Oakland Raiders’ most pressing issues in the coming days is to address the contract of quarterback Carson Palmer as they try to get under the salary cap.

Oakland is trying to redo the contract of the 33-year-old quarterback who was acquired in 2011 for a 2012 first-round pick and a second-round pick this year. Palmer has a salary-cap number more than $13 million.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen said at the combine that the Raiders plan on Palmer going into camp as the starter. But that contract has to be redone. Here’s the rub: What if Palmer doesn’t want to take a pay reduction?

There haven’t been any indications that Palmer will be difficult during these talks, but there’s always a change he can balk at the idea of taking a pay reduction. If he did that, Palmer and his agent would be banking on one of two things happening: Oakland relents and keeps his salary or Oakland is forced to cut him and Palmer would get a good contract elsewhere.

Teams such as Arizona, Buffalo and even Cleveland could be interested. Cosnider this: If Oakland is offering Palmer $4-5 million and he thinks he could get $6-7 million from the Cardinals to throw to Larry Fitzgerald, would Palmer take that chance?

In the end, Palmer holds the cards. If he doesn’t want to cooperate with Oakland’s demands he doesn’t have to.

If that is the case, the Raiders would receive $9-plus million in cap relief, but they would have another need on an already long list. That would mean Terrelle Pryor would get a long look and it wouldn’t do anything to stop the talk Oakland would take West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick.

Again, we have no reason to think these talks will get off track, but any negotiation is a two-way street and that can cause complications.