Around the NFC West: Palmer's leverage

Around the NFC West: April 2, 2013

The Arizona Cardinals have yet to work out a contract agreement with Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, a key element of any Palmer-to-Arizona trade.

That appears to be the No. 1 reason Palmer remains a member of the Raiders even after Oakland acquired quarterback Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks.

The Flynn acquisition and Oakland's decision to guarantee $6.5 million of Flynn's salary for 2013 means the Raiders will part with Palmer one way or another.

Palmer could wait for the Raiders to release him, but he might also have incentive to keep alive trade talks. The threat of hitting the market and signing elsewhere -- no matter how real -- provides Palmer some leverage in contract negotiations with Arizona.

If Palmer were a free agent, the Cardinals could call his bluff. That's tougher to accomplish as long as Palmer remains on the Raiders' roster. For Palmer, the threat of hitting the market could provide more leverage than the market itself if the Cardinals are the only team serious about paying Palmer starting money.

Note: Palmer is in Arizona and had dinner with team executives Monday night, according to Kent Somers.