Schefter: Carson Palmer playing hard ball

March, 25, 2013
3/25/13
5:30
PM ET

The Carson Palmer issue in Oakland may finally see some resolution, as it appears the Raiders' quarterback could be on his way out.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that it is "highly unlikely" Palmer will restructure his contract. Thus, the Raiders will have to decide on Palmer's future.

It would be difficult for the Raiders to keep Palmer at his current salary because he is set to make more than $13 million this season, and his salary cap number is more than $15 million.

With Palmer playing hard ball, he clearly thinks he can get more on the open market if Oakland does release him. Arizona is a potential suitor, and perhaps the Raiders could try to get something in return in a trade. But if the Cardinals know the Raiders are in a tough spot, Oakland will likely lose any trade leverage.

Cutting Palmer would be difficult for Oakland to swallow considering it gave up its first-round pick in the 2012 draft and its second-round pick this year in a trade the previous regime made in October 2011.

If Palmer is moved, the third-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor could step into the starter’s role. Oakland likes Pryor, but coach Dennis Allen has been on the record saying Palmer is the starter for now.

If Palmer is cut, the Raiders could also consider taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, whom Oakland haas been reported to take interest in. The Raiders have the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft. That speculation will obviously only intensify if Palmer is out of the picture. Taking Smith would be risky because the Raiders have great needs on defense and there are some strong defensive prospects available.

But if Palmer gets cut, everything would be on the table.

Oakland could also bring in a veteran quarterback such as Jason Campbell even if it’s in as a backup role. Of course, that would be ironic. The Palmer trade was spurred when Campbell was lost for the season with a broken collarbone. The current Oakland brass didn’t make an effort to re-sign Campbell last year in free agency and he went to Chicago. There just aren’t many more backup quarterback options available.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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